Chris Froome will continue his Tour de France preparations in March after being named as Team Sky’s leader for the Tirreno-Adriatico stage race in Italy.
The 27-year-old, who finished second behind Bradley Wiggins in last year’s Tour, opened his 2013 season in style with victory in the Tour of Oman.
Fellow Brit Peter Kennaugh is also part of the eight-rider squad for the seven-stage race, which will take place on March 6-12, with Dario Cataldo, Joe Dombrowski, Sergio Henao, Christian Knees, Salvatore Puccio and Rigoberto Urán completing the line-up.
Froome will also represent Team Sky at the two-day Criterium International in Corsica on March 23-24.
Bradley Wiggins started a remarkable winning run at Paris-Nice last March but the 32-year-old will forgo his title defence in 2013, with Vasil Kiryienka, Richie Porte and Kanstantsin Siutsou set to lead Team Sky’s charge at the week-long race on March 3-10.
Wiggins, who will this year target the Giro d’Italia over the Tour de France, will instead lead Team Sky at the Volta a Catalunya on March 18-24, with Cataldo, Kennaugh, Knees, Urán, Josh Edmondson, David López and Danny Pate also named in the squad.
A busy month of racing will also see Britain’s only WorldTour team tackle the spring Classics, with Geraint Thomas, back on the road after winning a second Olympic gold medal on the track last summer, and Edvald Boasson Hagen likely to lead the team at Milan-San Remo on March 17.
A provisional 12-rider squad has been announced for the 104th edition of the Classic, including Britons Thomas, Rowe, Ian Stannard and Ben Swift.
The cobbled Classics come thick and fast at the end of the month, with Team Sky’s coaching staff biding their time before finalising the team from a pre-selected group of one-day specialists: Boasson Hagen, Rowe, Stannard, Swift, Thomas, Bernhard Eisel, Mathew Hayman, Salvatore Puccio, Gabriel Rasch and Chris Sutton.
The opening cobbled Classic, Dwars door Vlaanderen, will take place on March 20, before E3 Prijs Vlaanderen on March 22, Gent-Wevelgem on March 24 and the Tour of Flanders, in which Thomas finished 10th in 2011, on March 31.
You can view all Team Sky’s squads for March on the team’s website.