Tour U-turn

British cycling stars Bradley Wiggins and Chris Froome will not be competing in the 39th Tour of the Algarve after all.

At the official presentation of this month’s race, it was revealed that the Sky duo had chosen to compete in Oman instead, a trend that is likely to continue in future with the addition of a second February Middle Eastern tour in Dubai.

For now, racing fans can look forward to welcoming 8 Protour, 5 Professional and 7 Continental class teams to the Algarve between February 14 and 17, featuring other star names such as Mark Cavendish, Tony Martin or Sylvain Chavannel.

The shortened 2013 Tour of the Algarve will take the peloton from Faro to Albufeira during the opening stage followed by an entire day spent in and around Lagoa. The 193km between Portimão and Alto do Malhão provides the challenge on the 16th while the race ends with a 34.2km Castro Marim-Tavira time trial on Sunday.