Wiggins takes to the track

Bradley Wiggins is in action in Grenchen
Bradley Wiggins is in action in Grenchen
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Great Britain’s track cyclists begin their Rio Olympics campaigns in earnest on Wednesday, with Chorley’s Sir Bradley Wiggins among those bidding to make an impression at the European Track Championships.

Wiggins leads the British men’s team in qualifying for the four-kilometres team pursuit in Grenchen as he prepares for the final 10 months of his career, which he hopes will end with a fifth Olympic gold in Rio.

Two-time Olympic champion Ed Clancy is absent with a back injury as Britain’s men bid to defend the title won in Guadeloupe 12 months ago.

Britain’s women are also in team pursuit qualifying action on Wednesday’s opening day and have a point to prove after being beaten to the world title in Paris in February, suffering a first loss in four years in the process.

Laura Trott, Katie Archibald, the newly-married Joanna Rowsell-Shand, Elinor Barker and Ciara Horne comprise the squad for the four-woman, 4km event.

The first finals take place on Thursday’s second day, in the team pursuits, team sprints, men’s scratch race and women’s points race.