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Wiggins to debut in Mallorca, Tour Down Under squad to Qatar
Team Sky has named its teams for February races, confirming that Tour de France winner Bradley Wiggins will make his season debut at the Mallorca Challenge race series that starts on Sunday before going onto ride the Tour of Oman alongside Chris Froome, Joe Dombrowski, Peter Kennaugh, Vasil Kiryienka, Christian Knees and Richie Porte.
Team Sky's Classics Project squad began their season at the Tour Down Under and will stop off in the Middle East to ride the Tour of Qatar before making their European debut at Omloop Het Nieuwsblad (February 23), Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne (February 24) and Le Samyn (February 27).
Edvald Boasson Hagen, Bernhard Eisel, Mathew Hayman, Luke Rowe, Ian Stannard, Chris Sutton and Geraint Thomas will be joined by Gabriel Rasch in Qatar, while Salvatore Puccio joins the team for Het Nieuwsblad, and then Rowe and 2011 winner Sutton swap places with Puccio and Rasch in the Kuurne line-up.
The Mallorca Challenge (February 3-6) consists of four separate UCI-ranked 1.1 races, with teams able to rotate and pick their line-up from a squad of 10 riders. Ian Boswell, Josh Edmondson, David Lopez and Jonathan Tiernan-Locke will all make their Team Sky debuts alongside Wiggins, Sergio Henao, David López, Danny Pate, Kanstantsin Siutsou, Ben Swift, Rigoberto Urán and Xabier Zandio.
Wiggins and Froome will face Grand Tour rivals Alberto Contador, Cadel Evans and Vincenzo Nibali at the Tour of Oman and will have strong support from Dario Cataldo, Joe Dombrowski, Vasil Kiryienka, Christian Knees and Richie Porte.
Porte won the Volta ao Algarve in 2012 but will not be back to defend his title. Instead the Team Sky line-up will include Boswell, Edmondson, Henao, Lopez, Pate, Siutsou, Tiernan-Locke and Uran.