Team Sky have confirmed Bradley Wiggins’ early-season race plan as he prepares to target Paris-Roubaix in April.
The British team told Cyclingnews that the 2012 Tour de France winner will ride a number of key races before an assault on the cobbled Classic. He will then quit Team Sky and major races on the road to devote his time to racing with his development team and preparing for the 2016 Rio Olympic Games.
For the second year running Wiggins will make his season debut at the Challenge Mallorca in Spain. The set of one day races starts with the Trofeo Santanyi-Ses Salines-Campos on January 29 and continues on January 30 with the Trofeo Serra de Tramuntana. Riders are allowed to skip events with the challenge and Wiggins is set to miss the Trofeo Alcudia-Platja de Muro on January 31 before returning to action at the final race, the Trofeo Palma on February 1.
The road to Roubaix will then see Wiggins head to the Tour of Qatar (February 8-13), where he will gain valuable racing along with the majority of his Classics rivals, such as Tom Boonen and Fabian Cancellara.
The British rider then returns to mainland Europe to take part in the weekend double-header of Omloop Het Nieuwsblad Elite and Kuurne-Bruxelles-Kuurne on February 28 and March 1. Team Sky head into Omloop Het Nieuwsblad as the defending champions after Ian Stannard’s win in 2014, while they have twice tasted success in Kuurne-Bruxelles-Kuurne.
Wiggins’s second stage race of the year, and his final one in Team Sky colours, will be Paris-Nice from March 8-15 before he once again returns to the cobbles with rides at E3 Harelbeke on March 27, Scheldeprijs on April 8 before his final Team Sky race in Paris-Roubaix on April 12.
Team Sky added that the current race plan was subject to minor changes in the coming weeks. As things stand, Wiggins would not race the Tour of Flanders (April 5) but the team and Wiggins have not completely closed the door on the Belgian race.