Bradley Wiggins to ride Omloop Het Nieuwsblad

Bradley Wiggins will ride Omloop Het Nieuwsblad on Saturday to kick off his cobbled Classics campaign ahead of his tilt at Paris-Roubaix in April.

The 2012 Tour de France champion, enjoying his final few months with Team Sky before he joins his new WIGGINS outfit, will head up a eight-man team at the 70th edition of the race, which takes place across 200.2km in the Flanders region of Belgium.

Also in the line-up is Ian Stannard, who won last year’s race after out-sprinting Greg Van Avermaet in miserable conditions. That success seemed like a potentially seminal moment in the 27-year-old’s career but it was followed by setbacks as he fractured a vertebra in Gent-Wevelgem less than a month later, before fracturing his wrist on his return to racing at the Tour of Britain.

Like Wiggins and other Classics hopefuls, he rode at the Tour of Qatar and eased himself back into racing with an encouraging fourth place on the overall. Both men have used the time since Qatar to travel to Flanders and familiarise themselves with some of the key cobbled sections and climbs.

Sky’s roster is completed by Luke Rowe, Bernhard Eisel, Andy Fenn, Christian Knees, Salvatore Puccio and Chris Sutton. The team will take stock after the race before deciding on a line-up for Kuurne-Bruxelles-Kuurne the next day.

"After a good training period over the winter we have a strong group heading into the Classics," said the team's sports director for the race, Servais Knaven. "We're excited to get started with this key phase of the season."

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Patrick Fletcher
Deputy Editor

Deputy Editor. Patrick is an NCTJ-trained journalist who has seven years’ experience covering professional cycling. He has a modern languages degree from Durham University and has been able to put it to some use in what is a multi-lingual sport, with a particular focus on French and Spanish-speaking riders. After joining Cyclingnews as a staff writer on the back of work experience, Patrick became Features Editor in 2018 and oversaw significant growth in the site’s long-form and in-depth output. Since 2022 he has been Deputy Editor, taking more responsibility for the site’s content as a whole, while still writing and - despite a pandemic-induced hiatus - travelling to races around the world. Away from cycling, Patrick spends most of his time playing or watching other forms of sport - football, tennis, trail running, darts, to name a few, but he draws the line at rugby.