Sir Bradley Wiggins will prolong his road career to include the four-day Abu Dhabi Tour between October 20 to 23, say the organisers.
Wiggins had already said that the Tour of Britain was his last race on the road. He had only the London and Ghent Six Days left to race on the track to close out his career, which included the 2012 Tour de France victory and eight Olympic gold medals. Now, he will fly to the Persian Gulf with his Team Wiggins squad.
"We didn't have to convince him, just like the Dubai Tour, it was spontaneous on his part," Lorenzo Giorgetti, CEO of RCS Sports and Events told Cycling Weekly at the route presentation in Abu Dhabi.
"The first edition last year, he wanted to race, but it never happened. He always seemed to be interested in this race, I don't know what it is, but he also raced in the Dubai Tour [RCS Sport's other Middle East race - ed.]."
If Wiggins closes out his career in 2016 then it seems impossible that he could find another UCI stage race on the calendar to compete in and the Abu Dhabi Tour would mark his final act.
"We'll leave him to say that," added Giorgetti. "It'd be a great honour if that is the case for Abu Dhabi, but we'll see."
The stage race would leave him one day to travel to London for the six day, October 25 to 30. The Ghent Six Day falls in November, from the 15th to the 20th. His track partner Mark Cavendish (Dimension Data) will also be racing in Abu Dhabi.
The Abu Dhabi Tour has also pulled in stars Alberto Contador (Tinkoff), Olympic omnium champion Elia Viviani (Sky) and Olympic road champion Greg Van Avermaet (BMC Racing).
It will be Wiggins's first race since the Russian hackers TUE scandal. A group called Fancy Bears posted athletes' TUEs online, It showed that Wiggins was administered with triamcinolone injections ahead of the 2011 and 2012 Tour de France, and one before the 2013 Giro d'Italia in order to treat a pollen allergy.
With the Abu Dhabi plan, he showed that he is prepared to race regardless of the circumstances and controversy that now surrounds him.
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