Bradley Wiggins 'where he needs to be' ahead of Paris-Roubaix

Sir Bradley Wiggins at Tour of Qatar
Wiggins was third in stage three's individual time trial

Sir Bradley Wiggins is "where he needs to be" despite finishing 78th in the Tour of Qatar as he builds towards his tilt at April's Paris-Roubaix race.

Dutchman Niki Terpstra retained his title in the six-stage Qatar race.

Terpstra won last year's Paris-Roubaix one-day classic in northern France and Wiggins has earmarked the approximately 150-mile race as a major goal in 2015.

Team Sky sporting director Servais Knaven said: "This was a big step in his preparations for the Classics."

He added on the team's website: "Brad is where he needs to be. He's looking strong and has been doing a lot of extra work out here before and after the racing.

"It's been a good training block for him and he's grown in stature as the race has gone on."

Wiggins, 34, is yet to win one of cycling's iconic spring events and northern France's Paris-Roubaix, on 12 April, is notoriously tough with riders negotiating large sections of cobbles and finishing in an open-air velodrome.

The seven-time Olympic champion will then turn his attentions to the track, preparing for an expected attempt to break the hour-record and trying to qualify for the 2016 Rio Games.

Terpstra, who won last year's Paris-Roubaix and races for the same Etixx - Quick-Step team as Mark Cavendish, finished nine seconds ahead of world champion Wiggins to win Tuesday's time trial on stage three and set up his overall victory.

He retained his title after Irish sprinter Sam Bennett unexpectedly won Friday's final stage.

The Dutch rider finished in the main bunch to win by six seconds from Poland's Maciej Bodnar with Norway's Alexander Kristoff, winner of three stages, third.

Team Sky's Ian Stannard was the best-placed Briton in fourth, with team-mate Luke Rowe in seventh.

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