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Team Sky confirm riders to support Chris Froome at Tour de France

Thomas, Rowe and Bernal all named as Froome fights for yellow jersey number five

Joe Robinson
3 Jul 2018

With the UCI and WADA's acquittal of Chris Froome over what previously stood as an adverse analytical finding (AAF) for salbutamol, the path has been cleared for the four time Tour de France champion to chase down title number five.

This has also meant that Team Sky have now confirmed the seven riders that will support Froome in the three week race around France.

The presence of Froome was placed into doubt this weekend as race organisers ASO threatened to block his entry without a resolution into his AAF.

However, the UCI and WADA confirmed that the investigation into Froome had been closed and he would face no charges.

This opens the door for Froome to attempt Tour history this July. He will attempt to become only the fifth rider in history to win five yellow jerseys while also becoming the first rider since 1998 to secure the Tour-Giro double.

Froome could also become the first riders to take four consecutive Grand Tour titles.

To support Froome in this unprecedented task, Team Sky have announced the rest of the eight man team including the likes of Geraint Thomas, Luke Rowe and Egan Bernal.

As was known before, chief among Froome's domestiques will be recently-crowned British time trial champion Thomas. The Welshman has commented that he will enter the Tour on an equal footing to Froome and consider his own General Classification standing.

If the dreams of GC fade for Thomas it will not take away his ability to be one of the most destructive mountain lieutenants in the race.

Joining Froome and Thomas in the mountains should be Wout Poels. The Dutchman was key to Froome's recent Giro d'Italia win and will now double up at the Tour to offer his support on the mountainous final two weeks of racing.

Excitement will surround Tour de France debutant Bernal as the hotly-anticipated Colombian takes to the start line in support of Froome and with half an eye on the white young rider's jersey.

A former Tour de l'Avenir winner, Bernal is just 21-years-old but expected to be the heir-in-waiting to Froome for Team Sky's Grand Tour ambitions.

While Mikel Landa's support role stole much of the limelight at last year's Tour, Froome would more likely attribute his success to the work of Michal Kwiatkowski.

The Pole worked tirelessly in the lower mountains and made sure the Team Sky mountain train did not miss a beat. He will be expected to do a similar role this year while also being an important assest on the Stage 9 cobbles and the Stage 3 team time trial.

Rowe's form has not been quite that of the past this season. Returning from a broken leg, the Welshman has yet to hit his stride but as one of the most respected road captains and a specialist on the cobbles, he was always likely to be included.

Finishing off the team of seven supporters will be Spanish time trial champion Jonathan Castroviejo and Italian Gianni Moscon, who will be bring sizeable engines and all-round biking abilty to the many tricky flat and hilly days before the race hits the mountains.

Team manager Sir Dave Brailsford spoke of Froome's strong team and the importance they will play in Froome's Tour defence.

'We have chosen the Team to support him that we believe is best equipped to meet the demands of this year’s race,' the team manager said.

'It is a team of real versatility and one that balances youth with experience. We are really proud that Gianni Moscon and Egan Bernal will be making their Tour de France debuts with us.'

'It is also fantastic that Luke Rowe will be riding the Tour again as our road captain after his serious accident last summer. It is testament to his ability and determination that he has come back so strongly.'

The Tour de France starts this Saturday in the Vendee Region of France. For more information on the race including the start list and route maps visit our race homepage here.

Team Sky's 2018 Tour de France team

Chris Froome (GBR)
Geraint Thomas (GBR)
Luke Rowe (GBR)
Egan Bernal (COL)
Jonathan Castroviejo (ESP)
Gianni Moscon (ITA)
Wout Poels (NED)
Michal Kwiatkowski (POL)