WIGGINS STARTS IN QATAR

Team Sky’s big name riders Bradley Wiggins and Edvald Boasson Hagen will both get their seasons underway in February, with Wiggins starting racing in the Tour of Qatar (February 6-11) and Boasson Hagen leading the squad in the Tour of Oman (February 20-24).

Wiggins has said that he wants to hit form earlier this year than last season, when he concentrated everything on what ultimately proved to be a frustrating Tour de France campaign. Wary of staking too much on one race, he wants to pick up good results early on and then prepare in a difference way for the Tour, avoiding the Giro d’Italia.

He will be joined in Qatar by two new Team Sky riders, the Britons Alex Dowset and Jeremy Hunt. Both Alex and Jeremy are only just getting used to competing on a Mens Road bike. Another debut will be made by Servais Knaven, who will get his new career as directeur sportif underway alongside Steven de Jongh.