Sky announced Thursday the eight riders who will support Chris Froome at the upcoming Tour de France as he aims for a fourth yellow jersey in five years.
The Tour kicks off July 1 with a 13-kilometer time trial in Dusseldorf, Germany and concludes July 23 with its customary stage into Paris and along the Champs-Elysées.
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Froome said he’s excited to tackle another Tour as he targets the overall victory.
“The Tour de France is a special race and it would just be incredible to win it for a fourth time. Aiming for that fourth victory has given me a lot of motivation,” Froome said in a Sky release.
“We’re ready as a team and I can’t wait for the Tour to start now. Honestly, I just love it. It’s a feeling that you don’t get from any other race.”
Froome’s eight-rider support crew is comprised of Sergio Henao, Vasil Kiryienka, Christian Knees, Michal Kwiatkowski, Mikel Landa, Mikel Nieve, Luke Rowe, and Geraint Thomas.
Team principal Dave Brailsford said the Tour roster has the strength and experience that’s needed at the French grand tour.
“We’ve selected a strong and experienced lineup who will support [Froome], and we’ll be looking to use the strength of the team to our advantage,” Brailsford said.
Landa and Thomas were caught up in a crash at the Giro d’Italia last month after Wilco Kelderman (Sunweb) struck a police motorcycle parked alongside the road. Landa was able to finish the Giro but Thomas had to abandon because of injuries sustained in the incident.
Missing from the lineup is Wout Poels, who served as one of Froome’s key lieutenants during last year’s Tour. The Dutchman injured his knee in February and is still recovering.
Team Sky for 2017 Tour de France
Chris Froome (GB)
Sergio Henao (Col)
Vasil Kiryienka (Blr)
Christian Knees (G)
Michal Kwiatkowski (P)
Mikel Landa (Sp)
Mikel Nieve (Sp)
Luke Rowe (GB)
Geraint Thomas (GB)