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Wiggins hopes to bounce back at Driedaagse De Panne-Koksijde

After an early abandon in Sunday's Gent-Wevelgem, Bradley Wiggins hopes to tune form for Roubaix at midweek Belgian race

LONDON (AFP) — Britain’s world and Olympic time trial champion Bradley Wiggins will continue his classics campaign at Driedaagse De Panne-Koksijde (Three Days of De Panne) this week, after abandoning Gent-Wevelgem early on Sunday.

Wiggins is building up for a tilt at the prestigious Paris-Roubaix spring classic in just under two weeks time to close out his professional career with Team Sky.

He started Gent-Wevelgem on Sunday, but in dreadful conditions, with driving rain and gusts of up to 90kph (56mph), he climbed off his bike after less than 100km of the 239km race. His Sky teammate Geraint Thomas went on to finish third.

Wiggins was ninth at Paris-Roubaix last year and his crack at this year’s race will be his last in a Sky jersey before returning to the track to focus on the team pursuit for next year’s Rio Olympics. He has yet to notch a win in 2015, and so far, his only other result in a spring classic was 44th at Omloop Het Nieuwsblad in February, a race that his teammate Ian Stannard won.

De Panne is a three-day, four-stage race in West Flanders that takes in some of the course used in this coming Sunday’s Ronde van Vlaanderen (Tour of Flanders).

Thomas, who finished eighth in Flanders and seventh at Roubaix last year, will be one of the favorites on Sunday, having won E3 Harelbeke, the first of four cobbled classics in northern Belgium, last week.

Cobbled classics specialists Fabian Cancellara and Tom Boonen — who between them have won the two monument races 13 times out of the last 20 editions — are both out injured.