The team, named “Wiggins”, will feature young British cycling talent and will be sponsored by Sky, who has been a long-time supporter of Wiggins, in an effort for the brand to strengthen its ties with grassroots sports participation and elite athletes.
While Sky declined to comment on whether the team will look for additional sponsors, “Wiggins” will also be endorsed by British Cycling but will operate independently of the organisation.
Team members will include Andy Tennant, Owain Doull, Mark Christian, Jon Dibben, Steven Burke, Daniel Patten, Mike Thompson and Iain Paton, while details of the team’s suppliers, colours, logo, jersey and calendar of UK events will be released in the spring.
“Wiggins” is part of the seven-time Olympic medallist’s effort to promote healthy living through cycling in the UK.
“Cycling has given me everything,” Sir Wiggins says. “Now I want to build something to inspire kids and to reach all those people who might be on the fringes of the sport.
“My message is simple: If I can do it, then so can you”.
Cycling is the second fastest growing participation sport in the UK according to Sport England, with club membership and sponsorship revenues on the rise.
The spike in interest was largely driven by the high-profile success of British riders such as Wiggins, who was the first British man to win the Tour De France in 2012. If he takes an eighth medal at the 2016 Olympics in Rio, he will become the most decorated British athlete in Olympic history.
Over two million people now cycle at least once a week in England, with membership at British Cycling passing 100,000 for the first time ever last year, more than doubling since Wiggins’ 2012 Tour De France win.
Wiggins will continue to ride with Team Sky until Paris Roubaix in April.