Bradley Wiggins will partner Erik Zabel at the Dortmund and Munich six-day events this winter in what are set to be the German veteran?s final races.
Wiggins heads to Dortmund in northern Germany on October 28 for the event that starts on the 30th, meaning he misses the three-day Manchester world cup that starts the following day.
The Olympic champion at both the individual and team pursuit, Wiggins was supposed to partner compatriot Geraint Thomas, but was then promoted in to what should be the top pairing at both events.
?I was going to ride with G, in which case I wouldn?t have minded letting him down, but I can?t let Zabel down, so I had to get back out on my bike,? Wiggins said at his book launch in London?s Piccadilly yesterday.
?I?ve kept generally fit really [since Beijing]. I enjoy doing it now, I enjoy going out on my bike whereas I didn?t enjoy riding my bike four years ago. I had two weeks off after the Olympics, so it was good to get seven or eight days racing at the Tour of Britain, and then I just kept riding my bike since.
?You do so much during the year, things like the Giro, that takes months to go away. As long as you keep touching on it, it never goes away.?
The Brit has ridden with many of the six day riders throughout his career, that culminated in a win at the Ghent six with Matthew Gilmore in 2003, but has never ridden with Zabel. ?I?ve never even spoken to him, he?s quite an aloof person,? he said.
Wiggins, who slumped in the Olympic Madison following a grueling schedule in the individual and team pursuits, will now have to get back up to speed to partner Zabel who will be expected to perform well in front of home crowds in what will basically be his farewell events.
After the Munich six-day Wiggins will fly to Boulder, Colorado to meet up with his new Garmin-Chipotle team mates for their first training camp. Last year the Slipstream camp included rock climbing, pensions seminars and cake baking competitions.
Grenoble: Oct 23 – 28
Dortmund: Oct 30 ? Nov 4
Milan: Nov 4 ? 9
Munich: Nov 6 ? 11
Ghent: Nov 18 ? 23
Noorden: Nov 24 ? 29
Zurich: Dec 11 ? 16
Rotterdam: Jan 2 ? 7
Bremen: Jan 8 ? 13
Stuttgart: Jan 15 ? 20
Berlin: Jan 22 ? 27
Copenhagen: Jan 29 – Feb 3
Cremona: Feb 6 ? 11
Hasselt: 17 – 22