With an eye on Paris-Roubaix in April, Bradley Wiggins has been supporting Sky team-mates in Paris-Nice. Photos by Graham Watson

Sir Bradley Wiggins spent large chunks of time at the front of the peloton during stage one of Paris-Nice on Monday, working for his Sky team-mates.

Sky had several interests in the opening road stage of the race after Sunday’s prologue, with Ben Swift a possible sprint stage winner, and Geraint Thomas and Richie Porte sitting in good positions overall.

Although Wiggins himself is currently one position ahead of Porte, in 12th overall, he has no designs on winning overall as he eyes Paris-Roubaix in April and appeared happy to play the role of super-domestique. Wiggins won the 2012 edition of the race on his way to winning the Tour de France later that year in July, and so he knows it well.

Wiggins helped lead the pace in the second half of the stage, as escapees Thomas Voeckler (Europcar) and Anthony Delaplace (Bretagne-Seche Environnement) were given a free rein by a dawdling peloton. However, that slackening of the pace almost backfired as the duo wound up their speed in the final 20 kilometres. They were caught, inevitably, but with just two kilometres to go.

In the subsequent frantic bunch gallop into Contres, Swift opened up his sprint early and looked good but had to swerve dramatically to the side of the road as another rider moved into his line. Alexander Kristoff (Katusha) eventually took the honours, with Swift in ninth.

Wiggins himself rolled in at the back of the peloton, retaining his 12th spot overall.

After his attempt to win Paris-Roubaix on April 12, Wiggins will leave Team Sky and join the British-based outfit that bears his name: Team Wiggins. He will attempt to set a new Hour Record at some point in June at the Lee Valley Velodrome in London.

Team Sky before stage one of the 2015 Paris-Nice

Team Sky are presented to the spectators as part of the pre-stage sign-on

Bradley Wiggins greets Rohan Dennis on stage one of the 2015 Paris-Nice

Wiggins says hello to current Hour Record holder Rohan Dennis. Wiggins will make an attempt on the record in June

Bradley Wiggins on stage one of the 2015 Paris-Nice

Bradley Wiggins grabs his Pinarello Dogma and rolls to the start

Bradley Wiggins on stage one of the 2015 Paris-Nice

Wiggins looks back to the team car during stage one, with musette on his back

Luke Rowe on stage one of the 2015 Paris-Nice

Wiggins sits between Luke Rowe and Richie Porte in Sky’s train

Cyclists pass before the Chateau of Chambord on stage one of the 2015 Paris-Nice

Wiggins near the front of the bunch as they pass the Chateau of Chambord

  • Defi Comments

    Who cares? He’s being paid and its his employer’s instructions….