Froome supported by Stannard, Thomas, Kennaugh and Rowe, along with Roche, Viviani and Pate in Tour de Romandie (April 28 to May 3)

Chris Froome returns to the Tour de Romandie as leader of Team Sky, eyeing a possible third consecutive victory in the Swiss WorldTour race, starting on Tuesday (April 28).

Froome is backed up by a strong team featuring four other Britons. Sky has picked a selection of riders to support Froome in the key Tour de France warm-up race that mixes those coming in from the Classics and key mountain domestiques.

Omloop Het Nieuwsblad winner Ian Stannard and E3 Harelbeke victor Geraint Thomas are both present after a successful campaign in northern Europe, as is Luke Rowe – the team’s highest finisher at Paris-Roubaix. They are joined by British road race champion Peter Kennaugh.

Completing the team are Italian sprinter Elia Viviani, American strongman Danny Pate and Irishman Nicolas Roche.

>>> Tour de Romandie 2015 start list

Roche takes to the startline despite suffering a nasty fall during Liege-Bastogne-Liege on Sunday. Roche was taken down in a mass crash in the final 40km of the Belgian classic but escaped with minor injuries.

The six-stage Tour de Romandie commences with a 19.2-kilometre team time trial on Tuesday, April 28 and concludes on Sunday, May 3, with an individual time trial. In between is a selection of tough mountain stages.

Froome won the final time trial in last year’s race to secure the overall win 28 seconds ahead of Simon Spilak (Katusha).