The last time Team Columbia teammates Bradley Wiggins and Mark Cavendish saw each other, they had just finished a very disappointing ninth in the Madison at the Olympic Games in Beijing, and left the arena without speaking to each other. Now, nearly two months later, the two are in contact again, at least via text messaging.
The British pair had won the World Championship in that discipline in March, and had expected to repeat their success. But it didn't happen, and as Wiggins said earlier, "I came off the track and downed a couple of beers straight away. He went the other way and so I proceeded to get blind drunk with my wife and friends. It was a disappointing end to a fantastic Games and I like to think he doesn't hate me now."
So Wiggins finally sent his 23-year-old teammate a text message. "I said 'Hi, do you remember me?' and he replied, 'Ha, ha, of course I do.' We've agreed to get together soon," he told the British newspaper The Telegraph. "I love Cav like a brother, it's just that we were so disappointed, we both wanted that gold medal so badly and it just didn't happen on the day."
Having done so well on the track this year – three golds at the World Championships and two at the Olympics – Wiggins, 28, is now looking to shine on the road in 2009. He is leaving Team Columbia and will ride for Team Garmin-Chipotle next season.
Wiggins decided to skip the Track World Championships. "I missed the Tour last year and you could see from the TV coverage that it was a much cleaner race," he said. "I see it as a positive development every time the cheats are exposed. They aren't getting past the testers now and clean riders will become much more competitive."
Garmin-Chipotle becomes ProTour team
The International Cycling Union (UCI) has announced the attribution of a ProTour license to American team Garmin-Chipotle Presented by H3O. The team directed by Jonathan Vaughters will thus participate in the calendar's events for the next four years.
The UCI also announced that three races were awarded ProTour status for that same period of time: the Vattenfall Cyclassics (Germany), the Critérium du Dauphiné Libéré (France) and the Tour de Suisse (Switzerland). These races therefore join the 2009 UCI ProTour calendar alongside the Tour Down Under (Australia), the Vuelta Ciclista al Pais Vasco (Spain), the Tour de Romandie (Switzerland), the Volta Ciclista a Catalunya (Spain), the Clasica Ciclista San Sebastian (Spain), the Tour de Pologne (Poland) and the GP Ouest France-Plouay (France). Other license requests are currently being studied by the Licenses Commission.