Bradley Wiggins and Skoda deal ends a year early

Olympian appeared in ads for the cars in 2017 and had been set to continue working with the company through this year

Bradley Wiggins and car brand Skoda have ended their partnership together a year earlier than scheduled.

Wiggins signed on to appear in Skoda ads at the beginning of 2017 in a multi-million pound partnership.

The car brand, which is owned by the German Volkswagon Group also supplied cars to Team Wiggins under the terms of the deal.

But Skoda confirmed to Cycling Weekly last week that it had “mutually agreed” with Wiggins to end the deal a year early.

A spokesperson for Skoda said: “In 2018, Skoda UK began to place greater focus on attracting female buyers to the brand, resulting in Paloma Faith signing a partnership with Skoda.  Given this focus remains in 2019 both Skoda and Bradley Wiggins mutually agreed that the partnership would end at the end of 2018.”

The end of the deal comes just weeks after Skoda signed on to continue as a sponsor of the Tour de France until 2023. It also remains a sponsor to the Tour of Britain, RideLondon, the Women’s Tour and the Tour Series in the UK.

The spokesperson added: “In 2018 we launched the #ThisIsOurTime campaign. Alongside our partners Dame Sarah Storey, Juliet Elliott, Hannah Barnes and Adam Blythe we’re shining a light on women’s cycling to redress the gender balance in professional cycling – which has also led to our support of the J-1 team.”

A spokesperson for Bradley Wiggins said: “The agreement between Bradley and Skoda was ended after two very successful years, in which time period TV adverts featuring Bradley won many accolades and marketing awards, including best Car Ad of the Year in 2017.”

Team Wiggins-Le Col last week announced that it would be using Subaru cars for the 2019 season.

Bradley Wiggins’s deal with Skoda was one of the last brokered under his old management XIX Entertainment before Wiggins joined M&C Saatchi Merlin to manage his affairs in his post-riding career in January 2017.

The Skoda partnership came at a time of intense scrutiny for Wiggins coming just four months after revelations of the now infamous mystery jiffy bag that was sent to then Sky doctor Richard Freeman at the Critérium du Dauphiné, allegedly for administering to Wiggins.

The package had been alleged by anonymous sources to contain a corticosteroid, a controlled substance under anti-doping rules rules, but Freeman said it merely contained decongestant. However, no evidence has been found by UK Anti-Doping or a Parliamentary committee to prove either version of events.

Freeman is still due to face a medical tribunal over his record keeping over that incident and a host of other issues, but that was postponed earlier this month and has yet to be rescheduled.