Tao Geoghegan Hart the only Brit among the eight-man line-up

While the Classics may be in full swing in the northern reaches of Europe, the stage racing continues with the WorldTour Tour of the Basque Country next week, starting with stage one on Monday April 3.

>>> Tour of the Basque Country 2017 start list

Team Sky will be heading in with a two pronged attack, with a pair of riders who have known significant success over the last month or so.

Milan-San Remo winner Michal Kwiatkowski will begin his build-up to the Ardennes Classics with a ride here, and will more likely be suited to stage wins with an extremely arduous parcours of climbing which is more suited to super lightweight climbers.

Sergio Henao will carry that flag for Sky, looking to better his second place finished overall in Pais Vasco in 2015 and 2016. He’ll come up against Alberto Contador (Trek-Segafredo) once again, having beat the Spaniard by two seconds to take the overall title at Paris-Nice in early March.

Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) will also provide a challenge to any title hopes for Sky, with the veteran Spaniard on flying form after winning the overall and three stages at the Volta a Catalunya.

Tao Geoghegan Hart will be the only Brit in attendance, with the 22-year-old taking on his second WorldTour stage race having debuted in cycling’s top tier at the Dubai Tour in February.

The same Team Sky line-up for the Tour of the Basque Country will also start the Spanish one-day race GP Miguel Indurain which takes place on the same day as the Tour of Flanders, Sunday April 1.

Full Team Sky squad for Tour of the Basque Country: Tao Geoghegan Hart, Michal Golas, Sebastian Henao, Sergio Henao, Vasil Kiryienka, Michal Kwiatkowski, David Lopez and Mikel Nieve