Injury and illness rule Team Wiggins out of Tour Series opener

Team Wiggins were planning on fielding Jake Kelly in the first round but he has been called into the Amgen Tour of California squad

Team Wiggins were absent from the opening two races of the 2016 Pearl Izumi Tour Series because they didn’t have enough riders to partake.

Ramsey on the Isle of Man hosted the start today with a team time trial – won by JLT-Condor in a time of 03:43.5 –  which preceded the first of 10 criterium races in the series.

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Team Wiggins, as one of the six UCI British Continental teams, are scheduled to appear in each round but because of the team’s commitments in the Amgen Tour of California and next week’s Ronde de I’Isard, only Jake Kelly was due to ride in Ramsey.

>>> Tour of California 2016 start list

However, Kelly, a 21-year-old Manx native, has been drafted into the Tour of California squad because of injury and illness to members of the Wiggins team in the States, meaning that Wiggins had no-one riding the first round of the Tour Series.

Behind the scenes with Team Wiggins

“We were planning on being there but due to injury and sickness, we haven’t got enough riders to do California, I’Isard and the Tour Series,” the team’s manager Simon Cope told Cycling Weekly.

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“We have an international race programme to fulfil. The plan was for Jake to ride but he’s been called into California and we had no one to go over at short notice.”

Cope confirmed Wiggins would have a presence at the remaining nine rounds, starting at Tuesday’s race in Motherwell, but that they wouldn’t be able to field a full team in each event.

“Mick [Bennett, race director for the organisers Sweetspot] knows all about it. We’re not trying to disrespect the event, it’s just the way it falls,” Cope added.