Cycling-Wiggins returns after surgery to lead team in Spain

Reuters

Tue, 16 Aug 13:24:00 2011

Bradley Wiggins will return to lead Team Sky in this week's Tour of Spain after being forced to abandon the Tour de France last month with a broken collarbone.

"Having Bradley back has reinvigorated us all. He has trained well since his operation but the fact he hasn't been able to race for seven weeks means we will have to take things day by day," team principal Dave Brailsford said in a news release on Tuesday.

Wiggins underwent surgery on his left collarbone after crashing out of the Tour in a multiple pile-up during the seventh stage.

The Briton, who has not ridden in the Vuelta before, said: "I want to produce a strong performance for all those people who have supported me since my crash.

"The level of encouragement I've received has been overwhelming and I'd like to do everyone proud."

The Vuelta, which starts on Saturday in Benidorm, will be an emotional race for Team Sky who abandoned last year's edition when their Spanish assistant Txema Gonzalez died after contracting a bacterial infection.

"The penultimate stage, which ends in his home town of Vitoria, will be a particularly difficult day for everyone involved," Brailsford said.

"While Txema will forever be in our thoughts, this year's race should help aid the healing process and allow people to focus on the future."

 

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