Britain’s world and Olympic time-trial champion Bradley Wiggins will ride for Team Sky at the Three Days of De Panne race this week.

Wiggins is building up for a tilt at the prestigious Paris-Roubaix Spring Classic in just under two weeks time.

He rode Gent-Wevelgem on Sunday but in dreadful conditions with driving rain and gusts of up to 90kph (56mph) he climbed off his bike after less than 100km of the 240km race, in which compatriot and Sky teammate Geraint Thomas finished third.

Wiggins was ninth at Paris-Roubaix last year and his crack at this year’s race will be his last in a Sky jersey before returning to the track to focus on the team pursuit for next year’s Rio Olympics.

De Panne is a three-day, four-stage race in West Flanders that takes in some of the course used in this coming Sunday’s Tour of Flanders.

Thomas, who finished eighth in Flanders and seventh at Roubaix last year, will be one of the favourites on Sunday having won E3 Harelbeke, the first of four cobbled classics, last week.

Cobbled Classics specialists Fabian Cancellara and Tom Boonen — who between them have won the two Monument races 13 times out of the last 20 editions — are both out injured. – Agence France-Presse

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