Sir Bradley Wiggins starts Paris-Roubaix preparations in Qatar

Team Sky name strong line-ups for season's first two desert races

Sir Bradley Wiggins will start his final season at Team Sky at the Tour of Qatar after the team confirmed their squads for the first two desert races of the season.

Wiggins’ preparations for the Flemish Classics will begin in Qatar, the same race Niki Terpstra won before going on to take his first Paris-Roubaix title last April.

The race, which rolls out on Sunday February 8, will also see Wiggins pull on the rainbow skinsuit of world time trial champion for the first time when he races against the clock on stage three.

Sir Bradley Wiggins will pull on the rainbow skinsuit of world time trial champion for the first time at the Tour of Qatar (pic: Sirotti)

And Wiggins will be joined on the startline by a number of riders hoping to join him for the Queen of the Classics including Brits Luke Rowe, Ian Stannard and new signing Andy Fenn.

Geraint Thomas, another man who could lead Team Sky’s charge for Classics success this season, will be in action in Dubai, meanwhile, with the second Dubai Tour rolling out taking place from Wednesday February 4 to Saturday February 7.

The Commonwealth Games champion, who helped Richie Porte to second place at the Tour Down Under, is joined by another strong line-up in Dubai.

New signing Elia Viviani, who finished second in his first race for Team Sky at Challenge Mallorca, and Ben Swift are likely to lead the team’s sprinting charge on the largely flat race.

Thomas and David Lopez, meanwhile, could be fighting for victory on Hatta Dam – a stage likely to prove decisive in deciding the overall winner of the race.

Ian Boswell, Bernie Eisel, Salvatore Puccio and Fenn complete the line-up, with Eisel and Fenn departing immediately to join the Tour of Qatar team.

Christian Knees, Danny Pate and Chris Sutton are the men chosen to join Wiggins, Rowe, Stannard, Eisel and Fenn in Qatar.

Sky are yet to name their team for the Tour of Oman, but Chris Froome – winner of the last two editions – has already confirmed he will not be fighting for a third consecutive red jersey.

Team Sky squad for the Dubai Tour 2015

Geraint Thomas (GBR)
Elia Viviani (ITA)
Ben Swift (GBR)
David Lopez (ESP)
Ian Boswell (USA)
Bernie Eisel (AUT)
Salvatore Puccio (ITA)
Andrew Fenn (GBR)

Team Sky squad for the 2015 Tour of Qatar

Sir Bradley Wiggins (GBR)
Ian Stannard (GBR)
Luke Rowe (GBR)
Andrew Fenn (GBR)
Christian Knees (GER)
Danny Pate (USA)
Chris Sutton (AUS)
Bernie Eisel (AUT)


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