Calderdale rider Rob Scott says Team Wiggins are “looking to prove something” in this week’s Tour de Yorkshire after finally being handed an invitation for the four-day showpiece.
The British development squad, founded by Tour de France winner and multiple-Olympic medallist Sir Bradley, will have a strong Yorkshire presence in their line-up, with Scott joining Holmfirth fastman Gabz Cullaigh and Leeds wonderkid Tom Pidcock on home roads.
Scott, the 20-year-old British Under-23 road champion – who finished fourth in the Under-23 edition of the Belgian semi-classic Ghent Wevelgem last month – says all three riders are relishing the chance to race on their regular training routes.
“It’s home roads and it’s been three years in the making for me, with the Team not getting in to it the last two years,” said Scott.
“It’s huge for the team because the Tour de Yorkshire and Tour of Britain are the races the sponsors want to be in; that’s why they pay their money.
“We did the Tour of Britain last year at the last minute by default after Aqua Blue folded, but I really think we’ll be looking to prove something this week.
“We’ve got a strong Yorkshire presence in the team so we’ll all be really motivated.
“We’ve got Gabz for the sprints, Tom for the general classification and I’ll be looking to go in the breaks if the chance is there. It’s massive for me personally, although I think it’s going to be just weird as much as anything.
“The last stage, Halifax to Leeds, that’s the one that covers the roads I ride every day when I’m at home.
“It’s going to be like when we go to Belgium and all the Belgians know when to sit up and chill out and when they need to be in the front because they know the race might split. That will be me, Tom and Gabz.”
We did the Tour of Britain last year at the last minute by default after Aqua Blue folded, but I really think we’ll be looking to prove something this week.Rob Scott
This year’s race includes only four top-tier World Tour teams, with Team Sky making their first start under their new Team Ineos banner alongside last year’s winner Greg van Avermaet’s CCC, Katusha and Dimension Data. Scott predicts that will lead to less structured, more open racing, particularly on the brutal final stage.
“The fact there are only four World Tour teams could make it a lot more aggressive and uncontrollable,” he said.
“I think the first two stages will be bunch sprints, then maybe a group of 50 or 60 going into Scarborough on day three, then the last stage from Halifax will just be chaos.
“That is the day that is going to be really hard for anyone to control, as we saw last year when it split pretty much from the start. Hopefully I can get in the breakaway.”