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Team Sky confirm Tour de France line-up

Jack Elton-Walters
22 Jun 2017

Team Sky have confirmed the eight riders who will work for Chris Froome as he aims to defend his Tour de France title

Page 1 of 2Team Sky confirm Tour de France line-up

With just over a week under the Grand Depart in Germany, Team Sky have revealed their line-up for the 2017 Tour de France.

The eight riders who will join Chris Froome as he looks to defend his title and take his fourth (third consecutive) Tour title were selected from a long list that shows the full strength and depth of the British squad.

There are some suprise exclusions, not least Peter Kennaugh who was seen training with Froome on some of the Tour's key mountains earlier this week.

The former British National Champion was also vocal in his disapproval at being left out of the Tour squad on previous editions.

Another rider missing from the final nine is British powerhouse Ian Stannard who has been a regular feature on the front of the bunch in recent years when Team Sky have won major races.

The Classics man did not have the Spring campaign he would have wanted and recently withdraw from racing due to illness. His recovery clearly hasn't been fast enough for him to feature.

Making the line-up is fellow hardman Luke Rowe who reprises his role as road captain for the team. He was instrumental in Froome's win at the 2016 Tour de France so will have a huge role to play if the result is to be the same this year.

Strength in the mountains, where the race looks set to be decided, is provided be a wealth of climbing talent.

Chief among the domestiques is Geraint Thomas, whose own GC leadership at the Giro d'Italia was ended by a moto incident.

If the Welshman arrives at the Tour in the form he appeared to be in at the Giro then a top-five finish isn't out of the question, even if he is called upon to work for Froome.

Giro co-leader and eventual King of the Mountains in Italy, Mikel Landa is likely to be at the head of affairs when the roads tilts upwards and is one of at least four riders on the roster who could lead in their own right if they were on any other team.

His fellow Basque Mikel Nieve is another super-domestique at high altitude, so Froome will have plenty of options when his rivals throw everything at him in the hope of halting his procession towards a fourth overall Tour de France victory.

The final, but by no means lesser, climbing assistant is the Colobiam Sergio Henao. An 'altitude native' he'll feel right at home in the Alps and Pyrenees.

Michal Kwiatskowki, former World Champion and multiple Classics winner, is clearly a huge talent but his appearance in previous Grand Tours has been a bit hit and miss.

He can climb pretty well and is seemingly keen to work for a team leader but his role appears less set than the other members of the team, all of whom slot into a clear position within the race around Froome.

The squad is rounded out by veteran diesel engines Vasil Kiriyenka and Christian Knees who will act as windbreaks on the flatter stages and take up the slack left by the omission of Stannard.

Tour de France 2017: Team Sky line-up

Chris Froome (GBr)
Sergio Henao (Col)
Vasil Kiriyenka (Blr)
Christian Knees (Ger)
Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol)
Mikel Landa (Esp)
Mikel Nieve (Esp)
Luke Rowe (GBr)
Geraint Thomas (GBr)

Page 1 of 2Team Sky confirm Tour de France line-up