Wiggins takes form to Paris-Nice

Britain’s Bradley Wiggins is planning to build on his early season form when the Paris-Nice race begins on Sunday.


Team Sky rider 

finished third in February’s Tour of the Algarve

after winning the concluding time trial.

The 31-year-old, who leads an eight-man team, said: “It’s the first big World Tour race of the season in Europe and we’ll look to continue the momentum.”

Wiggins, who has

three Olympic track golds


he can win the Tour de France and Olympic time trial in 2012.

On the track, he won the 4km individual pursuit at the 2004 Athens Games, before repeating that win in 2008 and also claiming gold in the pursuit in Beijing.

However, with the individual pursuit not featuring at the London 2012 Olympics, Wiggins has turned his attentions to the road.

He finished third in last year’s Paris-Nice, in a season that also saw him come third in Spain’s major road race,

the Vuelta a Espana,


breaking his collarbone

during the Tour de France.

New Sky recruits
Richie Porte,

winner of the recent Algarve event, and
Kanstantsin Siutsou

will race alongside Wiggins in France, along with
Christian Knees,

Danny Pate,

Geraint Thomas

Rigoberto Urán.

Continue reading the main story

Everything about this team is just snowballing and getting better and better, race after race

Bradley Wiggins

However, Briton
Chris Froome,

who finished ahead of Wiggins in the Vuelta,

has not yet recovered from a chest infection 

Xabier Zandio

will come into Sky’s eight-man squad.

“The new guys like ‘Kosta’ and Richie are all just slotting in perfectly,” Wiggins said.

“Portugal was the first time we’d ever raced together and it was a brilliant week.

“Everything about this team is just snowballing and getting better and better, race after race.

“We’re becoming more consistent too, it’s more of a habit now.

“We’ve also got an incredibly strong squad at Tirreno-Adriatico which takes place around the same time as Paris-Nice.

“It’s great to be part of it and I’m just looking forward to Paris-Nice now and my next few races after that.”


Bradley Wiggins

  • 2012:

    Volta ao Algarve, 3rd overall.
  • 2011:

    Criterium du Dauphine, 1st overall; Vuelta a Espana – 3rd overall; Paris-Nice, 3rd overall; British National Road Race Championship; World Time Trial Championships, 2nd.
  • 2010:

    Tour of Murcia, 3rd overall; British National Time Trial Championships, 1st.
  • 2009:

    Herald Sun Tour, 1st overall ; Tour de France, 4th overall; British National Time Trial Championships, 1st.

Last year’s Paris-Nice winner
Tony Martin

will defend his title while runner-up
Andreas Kloeden

is also set to take part.

Alejandro Valverde

, who made his return to the sport in January

after serving a retrospective two-year ban for his implication in Operacion Puerta

, will make his first appearance in the race since a second-place finish in 2010, a result that was later erased from the record books.



cyclist finished runner-up in January’s Tour Down Under and then won February’s Ruta del Sol in his homeland.

The world-class field also includes the Schleck brothers,
Andy and Frank

Levi Leipheimer

, home favourite
Thomas Voeckler

and the likes of
Tom Boonen

Thor Hushovd


Despite being named “the Race to the Sun”,

the Paris-Nice race 

is renowned for its often unfavourable weather conditions and numerous hills.

The 70th edition of the race, 

which starts on Sunday with a 9.4km time trial in the village of Dampierre-en-Yvelines just outside Paris, will see the riders travel 1,155km, with each stage including at least one categorised climb.

The eight-stage race culminates on 11 March with a 9.6km time trial that finishes on top of the Col d’Eze, which returns to the route after an absence of more than a decade.

Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/go/rss/-/sport/0/cycling/17243943

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