Team Sky look set to announce this morning that after months of speculation, they have finally got their man.
The British team is holding a press conference in central London at 11am and it is expected they will confirm that Bradley Wiggins is joining them from the American squad Garmin-Transitions.
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Rumours have surfaced repeatedly since Wiggins finished fourth in the Tour de France in July, equalling the best performance by a British rider in, set by Robert Millar in 1984. Wiggins signed a two-year contract with Garmin that does not expire until the end of 2010, but it appears a deal has been struck to release him a year early and allow him to become the leader of Team Sky.
Wiggins has at times played down the rumours and at times fuelled them, none more so than when he said: “It’s like trying to win the Champions League – you need to be at Manchester United, but I’m probably playing at Wigan at the moment.”
At the Revolution meeting on Saturday, Wiggins said he was likely to stay at Garmin. He said: “I still have to see my contract out with Garmin. I didn’t really have any choice to be honest. That’s why I haven’t really got too worried about it. In my mind it was never going to happen so I never built my hopes up too much.”
But now it appears it is going to happen and with the signing of Wiggins, Team Sky’s hopes of an invite to the Tour de France, already good, receive a huge boost.
Garmin’s Jonathan Vaughters has fought hard behind the scenes to keep a rider who flourished while riding in their colours.
But the chance to join a British team and work even more closely with the coaching and management staff he knows so well after years as a mainstay of the British Cycling team proved too strong a pull for Wiggins.
Cycling Weekly will be at the press conference today. Check the site for more news later.