Wiggins targets more track glory
6:37am Thursday 24th July 2014 in © Press Association 2014
Sir Bradley Wiggins makes his eagerly awaited return to track cycling this morning in what he expects to be a three-way battle for team pursuit gold at the Commonwealth Games.
Wiggins, having been controversially denied the chance to battle for the yellow jersey at the Tour de France, will instead be donning the red and white of Team England on day one in Glasgow.
Since winning the team and individual pursuits at the Beijing Olympics in 2008, Wiggins has been dedicated to life on the road, becoming the first ever Briton to win the Tour two years ago.
But his next major aim is a fifth Olympic gold on the track at Rio 2016 and he will line up alongside Ed Clancy, Steven Burke and Andy Tennant aiming to lay down a marker at the Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome.
The presence of strong Australian and New Zealand teams means Wiggins is returning to a strong field and he expects to be pushed all the way.
"I think everyone is predicting a shooutout between us and Australia but you can't discount the Kiwis," he told Press Association Sport.
"It could be a very close top three and a real push for the final. Once you get there it's anyone's race and it's about seeing who backs up best from the morning qualifying."
Wiggins admits he has hit his stride sooner than expected since linking back up with the team and believes the quartet are on course to achieve great things.
"It's been six years since I've been in a full camp and it's been really good to be back with these boys," he said.
"I was confident I could get back into it, it was just how long it would take but it's come back to me quicker than I thought.
"The guys really moved the event on at London 2012 but they've gone back a bit, as most teams tend to do in interim periods between Olympics. We're just starting to get back as fast as we were going before and that's a really good starting point for the next two years."
Before Wiggins and company hit the track, the cycling programme begins with men's sprint qualifying.
Triple Olympic champion Jason Kenny takes top billing in that event, but is looking to reassert himself after finishing fifth at the World Championships in Cali earlier this year.
He is joined by fellow Englishman Philip Hindes and Matt Crampton. Lewis Oliva goes for Wales, while Callum Skinner and Chris Pritchard offer the Scottish challenge.
Kenny, Hindes and Kian Emadi then join forces for the team sprint in the evening session, where they will be strongly fancied to make the podium.
The women's 500metre time-trial will also be decided, with a host of home nations talent - led by Jessica Varnish - set to do battle with Australian front-runners Anna Meares and Stephanie Morton.
Medals will also be awarded in the para-sport sprint B Tandem, where six pairs - two each from Scotland and Australia and one from Wales and England - face off.