Cycling: Wiggins to launch new cycling team

LONDON - British cycling great Bradley Wiggins is to set up a new professional cycling team in his name this year as he gears up for the team pursuit at the 2016 Olympic Games.

Wiggins is keen to give something back to the sport and wants to use his success to encourage a healthy cycling culture within the country.

"Cycling has given me everything," he said in a press release on Thursday.

"Now I want to build something to inspire kids and to reach all those people who might be on the fringes of the sport. My message is simple: If I can do it, then so can you."

The new team will be named "Wiggins" after the 2012 Tour de France winner and will be sponsored by the 34-year-old's long-time supporter Sky.

It will feature an array of young British talent including Andy Tennant, Owain Doull, Mark Christian, Jon Dibben, Steven Burke, Daniel Patten, Mike Thompson and Iain Paton. Details for the team's colours, logo and team jersey will be unveiled in spring, along with the team's schedule of track and road events - including Wiggins' live televised attempt on the prestigious "Hour Record" in the summer.

"I've dreamt about the Hour Record since I was a boy," the 34-year-old, four-time Olympic gold medallist said.

"Anyone can have a crack at it and measure themselves against the best in the world. We've seen cycling grow in popularity over the last few years and I want "Wiggins" to inspire a new generation of cyclists."

The move to create a new British team has been welcomed by top cycling names such as Team Sky general manager Dave Brailsford and Britain's most decorated female Olympian Victoria Pendleton.

"Bradley has written one of the greatest stories in British sport over the last 10 years. His exciting new project, "Wiggins", will undoubtedly have a lot to offer cycling in the UK on the road to Rio 2016 and beyond," Brailsford said.