Team Sky have revealed their rosters for March, confirming that Bradley Wiggins will ride Paris-Nice alongside Geraint Thomas and Richie Porte, while Chris Froome will have support from Peter Kennaugh, Leopold König, Mikel Nieve and Wout Poels as he takes on Alberto Contador at Tirreno-Adriatico.
Team Sky will also ride the Tour de Langkawi (8–15 March), meaning that 25 riders from the British WorldTour team will be action in three stage races during the next two weeks.
Paris-Nice will be Wiggins’ last major stage race of his Team Sky career. He won the 'Race to the Sun' in 2012 before going on to win the Tour de France. He could be a contender for the opening prologue and the final time trial on the Col d’Eze but is more likely to play a support role to Porte and Thomas as he prepares for the cobbled Classics.
Porte won Paris-Nice in 2013 and showed that he his back to his best with second overall at the Tour Down Under and fourth at the Volta ao Algarve, won by Thomas. The Welshman lead Paris-Nice for two days in 2014 but then crashed and did not start the final stage.
Completing Team Sky’s line-up for Paris-Nice are road captain Bernhard Eisel, Lars-Petter Nordhaug, Nicolas Roche, Luke Rowe and sprinter Ben Swift, who will target any sprint finishes as he prepares for Milan-San Remo.
Froome has a solid squad as he takes on Contador
Froome is looking to continue his winning streak after putting Alberto Contador to the sword at the recent Ruta del Sol and Team Sky has named a solid squad to support him.
Peter Kennaugh, Leopold König, Mikel Nieve, Salvatore Puccio, Ian Stannard and Wout Poels will all work for Froome, while Elia Viviani will target the expected sprint stages, where he will face Mark Cavendish (Etixx-QuickStep) and Marcel Kittel (Giant-Alpecin). Kennaugh showed his form at the Ruta del Sol and König and Poels will no doubt be looking to make a claim to a place in Team Sky’s Tour de France squad.
Team Sky will also ride this year’s Strade Bianche, with Stannard and Viviani in their line-up along with local rider Puccio, plus Andy Fenn, Peter Kennaugh, Christian Knees and Xabier Zandio.
Sebastian Henao will lead the Team Sky charge at the Tour de Langkawi, with solid support from Ian Boswell, Phil Deignan, Nathan Earle and Danny Pate. Chris Sutton will target the sprint finishes.
Dario Cioni will be lead directeur sportif for Team Sky in the Italian races while Nicolas Portal directs Team Sky in France and Gabriel Rasch is in charge in Malaysia.
Team Sky line ups:
Strade Bianche: Andy Fenn, Peter Kennaugh, Christian Knees, Salvatore Puccio, Ian Stannard, Elia Viviani, Xabier Zandio.
Tour de Langkawi: Ian Boswell, Philip Deignan, Nathan Earle, Sebastien Henao, Danny Pate, Chris Sutton.
Paris-Nice: Bernhard Eisel, Lars-Petter Nordhaug, Richie Porte, Nicolas Roche, Luke Rowe, Ben Swift, Geraint Thomas, Bradley Wiggins.
Tirreno-Adriatico: Chris Froome, Peter Kennaugh, Leopold König, Mikel Nieve, Wout Poels, Salvatore Puccio, Ian Stannard, Elia Viviani.