Wiggins to race Paris-Nice

Bradley Wiggins will fine-tune his form at Paris-Nice in advance of a run at Paris-Roubaix later this spring

PARIS (AFP) — Bradley Wiggins, winner of the 2012 Tour de France, was named Tuesday in Team Sky’s lineup for the six-stage Paris-Nice race which begins Sunday.

Wiggins won Paris-Nice in 2012 prior to his Tour triumph. The race is a key part of his farewell schedule before he leaves Sky to set up his own team. Australia’s Richie Porte, who won the Paris-Nice in 2013 and Welsh rider Geraint Thomas, who led last year’s edition, are also part of a strong Sky lineup featuring Bernhard Eisel and Nicolas Roche.

The 2015 edition of Paris-Nice looks to favor climbers, with a summit finish and a final-day uphill time trial, which means Porte may be Sky’s protected GC rider this time around.

For Wiggins, 34, Paris-Nice will be a warm-up for the prestigious Paris-Roubaix classic, which he is keen to win as his final race with Sky on April 12. His classics season is off to a positive start after supporting teammate Ian Stannard, who rode to his second consecutive win at Omloop Het Nieuwsblad, on Saturday.

Wiggins has won 25 of his 37 victories with Sky, while his finest hours remain the Tour de France triumph and the Olympic time trial title won on his home streets of London in 2012.

Meanwhile, Sky leader Chris Froome will take part in the Tirreno-Adriatico, which begins March 11, in Italy, and which also features Vuelta champion Alberto Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo), Tour de France champion Vincenzo Nibali (Astana), and Giro d’Italia champion Nairo Quintana (Movistar).

In Italy, Froome will be backed up by new teammate Leopold Konig, seventh in the Tour de France last year, Spaniard Mikel Nieve, and British duo Stannard and Peter Kennaugh.

Sky team for Paris-Nice:

Bernhard Eisel (A)
Lars-Petter Nordhaug (N)
Richie Porte (Aus)
Nicolas Roche (Irl)
Luke Rowe (GB)
Ben Swift (GB)
Geraint Thomas (GB)
Bradley Wiggins (GB)