Tour De France winner and SEVEN-TIME Olympic medal winner Bradley Wiggins and World Champion and sprint legend Mark Cavendish will be riding in Stoke-on-Trent when the Tour of Britain returns to the city next month.
The superstars of British Cycling were confirmed by race organisers today with the eagerly awaited news being greeted with huge excitement by cycling fans across the country.
It is the first time in the history of the race that both the yellow jersey winner and the world champion have been in the race. The fact they are both British is even better news for the race and the region.
Cavendish became World Champion in Denmark last year, shortly after the Tour of Britain, where his appearance in his home race saw crowd numbers soar across the UK.
The Isle of Man born father-of-one then collected another three Tour De France stage wins before Wiggins became the first ever British winner of the Yellow Jersey and then, with ‘Wiggo’ mania in full flow, went on to win his FOURTH Olympic Gold medal in the Men’s Time Trial before an adoring home-town crowd in London.
The father-of two, who now lives in Wigan, is now favourite to be crowned the BBC Sports Personality of the Year, following on from his friend ‘Cav’ who won the public vote last year.
Wiggins and Cavendish will be joined at the start-line in Trentham Gardens on the morning of Thursday September 13th with a provisional list of Team Sky members – Bernhard Eisel (Austria), Jeremy Hunt (GB), Christian Knees (Germany), Thomas Löfkvist (Sweden); with Salvatore Puccio (Italy) and Luke Rowe (GB) in reserve.
Councillor Mark Meredith, cabinet member for sport for Stoke-on-Trent City Council, said:
“It is great news that Wiggins and Cavendish will be coming to Stoke-on-Trent. This city has been committed to cycling for many years now and this news is a reward to all those that have worked to bring this event to the city these past five years.
“We are proud to work with partners in bringing this event to the city for five years running. People always come out in their numbers to watch it and the event gets more popular each year.
“This year cycling has exploded and the city is really looking forward to the country’s biggest race returning to our streets and we are really pleased that ‘Wiggo’ and ‘Cav,’ will be coming too.”
Mick Bennett, Tour of Britain Race Director, said:
““To have the reigning Tour de France and Olympic Time Trial Champion, and the current World Champion competing in The Tour of Britain is a dream for us. That both riders are British and such great champions means that there is now a unprecedented interest in the event.
“We are delighted that The Tour of Britain will be the first chance for many British fans to see Bradley Wiggins since his Tour de France and Olympic successes. We are also very pleased that Mark Cavendish is to the race again so he can ‘show-off’ the rainbow stripes in front of home fans. What Mark did for the race last year following the cancellation of Stage Two meant a great deal to us, so he will always be welcome as a fantastic ambassador for The Tour.”
Cavendish may even have his sights on a stage victory as the Stoke-on-Trent finish in Old Hall Street in the City Centre is pan-flat.