Is this Team Sky’s Tour de France line-up?

Sir Dave Brailsford will appear on Sky Sports News at 12:30 to confirm the eight riders who will join Chris Froome at the 2016 Tour de France

Is This Team Sky’s Tour De France Line-up?

Chris Froome1 will be backed by a strong squad in the Tour de France2 as he aims to defend the title he won in 2015.

Chief among his domestiques will be Geraint Thomas3, who shone at the 2015 Tour but was off the pace at the recent Tour de Suisse4. The team have already stated that Thomas will be protected5 in a way that he wasn t last year. Wout Poels is certain to make the team, which is of little surprise after he too was instrumental in Froome s 2015 victory and also after Dutchman won Team Sky6 s first Monument at Li ge-Bastogne-Li ge7 earlier this season.

Is This Team Sky’s Tour De France Line-up?

British workhorses

Is This Team Sky’s Tour De France Line-up?

Luke Rowe and Ian Stannard were on the nose of the peloton a lot in 2015. Photo: Graham Watson

Adding to the British contingent is the ever reliable diesel engine pairing of Ian Stannard8 and Luke Rowe.

Both riders had a solid Classics season Stannard s podium at Paris-Roubaix9 being the highlight and both are always willing to work for their team leader, often before the television coverage starts.

Altitude assistance

Is This Team Sky’s Tour De France Line-up?

Mikel Nieve collecting mountains points on stage 20 of the 2016 Giro d Italia. Photo: Graham Watson

Further assistance for Froome in the mountains will likely come from Basque riders Mikel Nieve and Mikel Landa, both of whom had already been photographed10 training with Froome following the Criterium du Dauphin 11. Landa looks set to take up the role of domestique after his outing as team leader in the Giro d Italia12 ended with a DNF due to illness.

Not just making up the numbers

Is This Team Sky’s Tour De France Line-up?

Michal Kwiatkowski attacks in the closing kms of the 2016 Milan-San Remo. Photo: Graham Watson

Former world champion Michal Kwiatskowski13 is fairly sure to join the roster as a versatile rider, and one of many who could reach out for a stage win of his own.

The Polish rider s 2015 Tour de France14 before he d joined Team Sky15 was prematurely cut short as he suffered in the second half of the race, so the British squad will be hoping he can go the distance this year. The ninth man is trickier to choose, but could be one of the following riders: TT world champ Vasil Kiryienka, Sergio Henao or Salvatore Puccio. Kiryienka looks the most likely as he can show the rainbow stripes on the two time trial stages and can be relied on to set the pace on flat and mountain stages.

We ll get to see how near to the mark we were when the final team is announced by Sir Dave Brailsford at 12:30 today, Wednesday June 22.

References

  1. ^ Chris Froome (www.cyclingweekly.co.uk)
  2. ^ Tour de France (www.cyclingweekly.co.uk)
  3. ^ Geraint Thomas (www.cyclingweekly.co.uk)
  4. ^ Tour de Suisse (www.cyclingweekly.co.uk)
  5. ^ already stated that Thomas will be protected (www.cyclingweekly.co.uk)
  6. ^ Team Sky (www.cyclingweekly.co.uk)
  7. ^ Li ge-Bastogne-Li ge (www.cyclingweekly.co.uk)
  8. ^ Ian Stannard (www.cyclingweekly.co.uk)
  9. ^ Paris-Roubaix (www.cyclingweekly.co.uk)
  10. ^ both of whom had already been photographed (www.cyclingweekly.co.uk)
  11. ^ Criterium du Dauphin (www.cyclingweekly.co.uk)
  12. ^ Giro d Italia (www.cyclingweekly.co.uk)
  13. ^ Michal Kwiatskowski (www.cyclingweekly.co.uk)
  14. ^ 2015 Tour de France (www.cyclingweekly.co.uk)
  15. ^ Team Sky (www.cyclingweekly.co.uk)

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