After Vincenzo Nibali confirmed that he would remain at Liquigas, Team Sky has refused to rule out a move for Garmin’s Bradley Wiggins, saying that there is a possibility that he might ride for them in 2010. Speculation has been rife that Wiggins would leave Garmin for Sky after finishing fourth at the Tour de France, coupled with Sky’s desire to hire British riders.
“If Bradley is available then of course we’re interested; he’s British, so yes it’s a possibility,” Team Sky directeur sportif Scott Sunderland told Cyclingnews. “If Wiggins himself wants to come then of course it could happen. But it’s not so that we’d take him because we can’t have Nibali or vice versa.”
Missing out on Nibali comes as a shock to many cycling fans after his deal looked to be on the cards earlier in the year. The Italian finished seventh in the Tour, with some fine displays in the mountains. However, he was left out of the Liquigas’ Giro squad and the Italian outfit already has an abundance of stage race potential with Ivan Basso, Franco Pellizotti and Roman Kreuziger.
“Speculation is one thing, reality another,” continued Sunderland. “Vincenzo was indeed a rider we were interested in but I’m sure so were a lot of teams who saw his performance at the Tour de France.
“But Nibali is under contract, he preferred to stay and of course we respect that and he’ll be riding with Liquigas next season. I guess, as an Italian rider it is still most comfortable for him to ride for an Italian team.”
Sunderland, who is unable to announce any riders signed until the UCI deadline of September 1 did add that Team Sky’s roster is almost complete, with three places still to be filled and a number of riders still in negotiations with management.
“We’re really happy with the riders we have on board; now we’re just rounding off our roster,” he said. “We’ll come out with some big established names and some young riders, the up-and-coming stars who will bring a lot to the team over the coming years as well. It’ll be a very complete team for all types of races.
“We’re now looking at filling in the last three places on the team and we have a few different riders we’re negotiating with. I’m still receiving expressions of interest daily and sometimes I’m sorry I can’t have a team of 30 riders as there is definitely a lot of talent out there deserving a go.”
For more on this story, visit Cyclingnews.com.