Wiggins confirms Tour de Yorkshire return

Sir Bradley Wiggins will ride in the second edition of the Tour de Yorkshire as he steps up his preparations for a fifth Olympic Games and a bid for another gold medal in Rio next summer.

Sir Bradley Wiggins takes timeout before the start of a stage of the Tour de Yorkshire

The 35-year-old four-time Olympic champion, 2012 Tour de France winner and holder of the Hour record is increasing preparations as part of Great Britain’s team pursuit squad.

Wiggins won gold in the four-man, four-kilometres event at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing before focusing on the road and becoming the first British winner of the Tour before taking road time-trial gold at the London 2012 Games.

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The three-day Tour de Yorkshire, which takes place between April 29 and May 1, provides good endurance preparation for Wiggins, who will take his eponymous team, which includes many of his track team-mates, to the race next spring.

Asked about his forthcoming plans and whether the Tour de Yorkshire was one of them, Wiggins told BBC Radio 5 Live: “Yes, we’ll be there. Team Wiggins. It was a great race this year and we’ll be back there next year.”

Wiggins is enjoying being surrounded by young team-mates, with many in their early 20s.

Yoikshire’s Ed Clancy, another key member of the squad, is the exception, but 30-year-old two-time Olympic champion underwent back surgery this week after suffering a slipped disc in September.

“I’m 36 in April and these guys are 21, 22 years of age,” Wiggins added.

“You get treated like the rest of them. We all go through the same process. No-one gets singled out because of what you’ve done in the past.

“It’s about selecting the four fastest riders.

“It’s been good and it’s been refreshing. It’s been a nice change from the whole Tour de France stuff.

“I am in a very fortunate position where I am able to almost take up another sport, to go from an event that’s three weeks long to something that’s three minutes 50 (seconds) long.

“The challenges which come with that keep the mind fresh and keep the motivation fresh as well.”

Wiggins claimed the Hour record - for the furthest distance covered in 60 minutes - of 54.526-kilometres in London on June 7.

He bettered the mark set a month earlier by fellow Briton Alex Dowsett and anticipates his own record will be beaten sooner rather or later.

“I don’t think I could do it again now,” Wiggins said.

“It was the time to do it. I did it when I did it on that day.

“It’s a record that could be challenged and will be broken in the next two or three years by someone.

“I don’t think I’ve put it out of sight, but I’ve added my name to the list.

“I’m just glad I did it. It was my hour.”