Fresh from his second place in Dwars door Vlaanderen on Wednesday, Welshman Geraint Thomas has been picked to replace injured Sky team-mate Edvald Boasson Hagen for Sunday’s Ghent-Wevelgem classic.

British national champion Thomas was pipped on the line in Waregem at the end of Dwars door Vlaanderen by breakaway companion Nick Nuyens (Saxo Bank) – but his strong riding to keep the bunch at bay shows he is on great form.

Boasson Hagen, who won Ghent-Wevelgem in 2009, was forced to pull out of Tirreno-Adriatico early this month due to an achilles injury sustained during Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne. The Norwegian will sit out Ghent-Wevelgem and return to racing in the following weekend’s Tour of Flanders.

“Geraint is going to be riding now,” said Sky race coach Rod Ellingworth. “The whole objective of the Classics period for us was that we wanted a core of riders who were available to race – you’d expect at least 12 of the riders to be on super form for them. And then from that squad we will choose the best eight for each race.” 

Sky’s line-up for Ghent-Wevelgem (March 27) will comprise: Kurt-Asle Arvesen, Juan Antonio Flecha, Mathew Hayman, Greg Henderson, Jeremy Hunt, Ian Stannard, Chris Sutton and Geraint Thomas.

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Thomas second in Dwars door Vlaanderen as Nuyens wins