Wiggins hopeful about 2014 Tour de France

Bradley Wiggins is hopeful about participating in the 2014 Tour de France. The 2012 Tour France winner had to pull out from the Tour owing to serious knee injury and it was his teammate Chris Froome who went to achieve the winner’s jersey.

The Team Sky rider had been down with a bad chest illness since May that had him withdraw from Giro d’Italia before the knee issues during Tour de France this July. His absence from the major racing events this year led to the speculations that the celebrated 2012 Tour France might not be a part of the biggest cycling championship over again.

But Wiggins has nullified all such speculations and stressed that he is hopeful on participating in the Tour next year. However, he accepted that Froome has every right the spearhead the team now given his impressive Tour France win this season. Besides, he also stressed that it’s not an issue for him to help Froome in defending his title next year.

“He has earned the very right to spearhead Team Sky presently & I fully accept it. It is not like a rivalry here. Both of us aimed for the goal & he had his shot”, stated Wiggins. “I don’t understand why we cannot work together & I am pretty sure that we would be back for the Tour in 2014, provided I am selected. I will love to perform in next Tour France but that does not depend on my decision.” Wiggins is little doubtful about his future in Team Sky.

The British rider was in all praise for his team, especially Froome, for their hard fight in Tour de France this year. “I feel the team presented an amazing performance without me. These guys were better capable than me”, Wiggins added in while speaking on his team’s victory in the world’s most distinguished cycling championship this year.

Euskaltel Euskadi cycling team to to shut down

Euskaltel Euskadi, the Basque cycling team will close at the end of the ongoing season because of a lack in funding triggered by the present economic crisis, stated the team on Tuesday. This news comes as a big blow to cycling fan in Spain with Vuelta a Espana all set to start on Saturday.

In a statement, the company told that Euskaltel Euskadi will not continue next season. The introduction of a 2nd sponsor, which was essential to guarantee the sustainability of the team, has not come to pass, making it unworkable for the whole team to carry on from the start of next year, even though it would wholly complete the sporting calendar for 2013.

Telecommunications company Euskaltel, which is the team’s main sponsor, last month admitted that it was looking for another sponsor to cope up with the team’s running costs after local government withdrew their 3.5 million euros (i.e. $ 4.6 million) of public funding because of spending cuts.

For this season, Euskaltel filled that gap themselves, taking their contribution to 7 million of the team’s 9 million euro budget. Still it stated that the level of investment was unsustainable.

It said that it is a sad day for Euskaltel, the current sponsors, fans, the team as well as all that have supported this whole program. They regretted that no other entity or company have decided to bet on this team, which is well established in the elite of world cycling.

At present, cyclists contracted to the team till 2014 season, including Olympic gold medal winner Samuel Sanchez, have already been given permission to talk to other teams regarding finding a place in peloton for next season.

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The entire sports fraternity especially the world of road cycle racing has been waiting for some more decisive action regarding cases of doping after the scandal of Lance Amstrong. But since then there has been no such action taken by the UCI and this has made the US Anti-Doping Agency Head Travis Tygart upset. He said in a recent interaction with the media that the agency has done their job. The officials have submitted the report seven months ago and still UCI has not taken any action against the doping cases as per Tygart.

He was recently present at a meeting with sports officials of the European Union in Brussels. Pat McQuaid, the UCI President was also present in the meeting. Tygart added that UCI should take strict action against the pending doping cases for the sake of all the sportsmen who posses Olympic values and cherish the fair play attitude. These honest and passionate players deserve more and it can only be achieved by taking decisive action against the rule violators. He also termed the decision by the Spanish judges about the Operacion Puerto case of blood doping as an obvious setback. The Spanish judges earlier have made a decision to obliterate the bags of blood in the case of blood doping.

In news from the other side of the cycling world, defending champion Ryder Hesjedal ha to quit from the Giro d’italia due to severe illness. Sir Bradley Wiggins also withdrew with a chest infection. Wiggins was at the 13th place in the race when he retired. Vincenzo Nibali maintained his complete lead in the race and Rigoberto from Sky was at the 3rd place with 2.04 behind the leader. The race covered the longest course on Friday through Busseto up till Cherasco and finally scaling through the Sestriere hilly areas on Saturday. Sunday will witness the riders going through the Col du Galibier and finally race will end after reaching Brescia on May 26.