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Wiggins to defend Tour of Britain title

ESPN staff
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Sir Bradley Wiggins claimed the Tour of California in May but missed out on Tour de France selection with Team Sky © Getty Images
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Sir Bradley Wiggins will hope to put a disappointing summer behind him when he begins the defence of his Tour of Britain title on Sunday.

The 2013 champion has been named in Team Sky's line-up for the race, which gets underway in Liverpool this weekend and finishes a week later in London.

Wiggins will attempt to become the first rider to claim successive titles in the event since it was reintroduced in 2004.

The 2012 Tour de France champion has endured a mixed season so far, winning the Tour of California in May before missing out on Team Sky's line-up for July's Tour de France.

Fellow Britons Ian Stannard and Ben Swift are also named in Team Sky's six-man squad, with Austrian Bernhard Eisel, Colombian Sebastian Henao and Spaniard David Lopez completing the line-up.

"The Tour of Britain is a special race for me so to be returning as defending champion is a real honour," said Wiggins. "It's always been a tough race but the support we receive from the fans is incredible, and it's our home tour so I've always enjoyed racing it.

"From the start of the year it's always been a goal of mine to race to the Tour of Britain. The race is growing in stature year on year and it's our chance to go there with a strong team and race in front of home fans to thank them for their support over the season."

Mark Cavendish, who claimed three stages in last year's tour, will continue his comeback from a shoulder injury as part of Omega Pharma-Quick Step's team.

The Manxman only returned to action last week after suffering a dislocated shoulder on stage one of the Tour de France in July.

Cavendish will rekindle his rivalry with Giant-Shimano's Marcel Kittel, who claimed two of the three Tour de France Grand Depart stages held in England earlier this summer.

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