Wiggins calls for women's team

  • Last Updated: March 6 2014, 8:12 GMT

Sir Bradley Wiggins expects Team Sky to make establishing a women's team a focus of their short-term future.

Sir Bradley Wiggins: Logical step to have a women's team
Sir Bradley Wiggins: Logical step to have a women's team

Wiggins provides funding to the GB Wiggle Honda team which includes Great Britain's current or former world champions Joanna Rowsell, Laura Trott, Dani King and Elinor Barker.

And the 2012 Tour de France winner believes his team are set to follow the likes of Lotto-Belisol and Orica-GreenEDGE by establishing an offshoot women's team in their own right.

"I think it's the next logical step in terms of where we are coming from and what we are focused on," Wiggins told The Independent. "We've certainly got the bodies for it.

"I think the only danger with it is that they become this incredibly super squad, with a great budget and great riders, and then you've got the worst women's team on the circuit too and the void is huge... it becomes a financial competition rather than an athletic one."

This year's Tour will feature for the first time a women's race alongside the traditional men's finale on the Champs Elysees and Wiggins sees it as a vital step in raising the profile of women's cycling.

"There's been a lot of talk about that since the (London 2012) Olympics, but two years have gone by and I don't think we're any further forward in terms of a few people saying a few things," he said. "This is the first thing of note of somebody big putting their money where their mouth is. It's a huge step forward."

Wiggins, 33, will return to the Tour field when this year's event starts in Yorkshire, having missed last year's event due to injury.

But he will do so as part of the support team for Chris Froome, his successor as champion and Sky's established leader.

"Froome's got the mantle now, which is good," he said. "But I've still got unfinished business with the Tour, as nice as it is that my last Tour at the moment was the one that I won.

"I want to do something else at the Tour, whether it's a great ride for Chris or the chance to win another time trial. I see myself in that train with Richie (Porte) and whoever else, being there when it matters. There were a couple of times last year when Chris was really isolated and I want to be in a position that I can be there when that happens.

"With it starting in the UK, too, it's going to be a celebration of where British cycling has come from and I want to be part of that."

On the prospect of competing in his fifth - and, he insists, last - Olympics in Rio de Janeiro in two years' time, Wiggins said: "I'll be 36, chasing that fifth Olympic gold, more track than road, I think. I always said I'd like to finish it off where I started, going full circle, from team pursuit to Madison to winning the Tour."

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