Froome says he and his eight team members are ready for the challenge of taking his third Tour de France title
The 2013 and 2015 Tour winner was speaking after the official announcement of the Team Sky squad, which will see him line-up along side fellow Brits Ian Stannard and Luke Rowe, as well as Geraint Thomas who will act as the team’s plan B.
Froome will receive plenty of support in the Alps and the Pyrenees from a particularly strong looking climbing contingent, which includes Basque pair Mikel Nieve and Mikel Landa, as well as Sergio Henao and Liège-Bastogne-Liège winner Wout Poels.
World time trial champion Vasil Kiryienka completes the line-up, with Dave Brailsford mentioning to Sky Sports News that he couldn’t be over looked after a strong showing in the Tour de Suisse last week.
Froome, who has already showed some strong form in the build-up after winning the Critérium du Dauphiné for a third time, says he is lucky to have such a formidable squad around him.
“I feel in good shape coming into the race this year and am fortunate to have a strong team around me – both on and off the bike,” Froome said.
“Every rider obviously starts every new Tour equal and what has gone before counts for nothing. This year I am hungrier than ever for success.
“We know how hard this race will be and how much we will have to give if we want to win it again,” he continued.
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“But we have trained hard. We’re ready for the challenge and can’t wait to get back racing in front of the millions of people in France who make the race so special.”
With one of the biggest budgets in the pro peloton, the British team are blessed with an enviable level of options for their Tour de France squad, with a number of talented riders failing to make the cut.
2014 world champion Michal Kwiatkowski will be disappointed to miss out in his first year on the squad; the Pole has reportedly been suffering from laryngitis over recent weeks and was not looking particularly strong at the Dauphiné where he abandoned.
Nicolas Roche also misses out after riding the Giro d’Italia, while Leopold König is the other member of last year’s team to be omitted after missing much of the season.
“Every Tour is different, so that means choosing the team we believe is best equipped to deal with the many different challenges of this race,” Brailsford said on the 2016 selection.
“We have selected a talented group of riders with Chris as the leader once again. I know they will do everything they can to help him try to win yellow.
“We can take a lot of confidence as a Team from what we have achieved already this year, but we know how much it takes to win the Tour.
“Of course there are a number of riders in other teams capable of putting in a challenge for overall victory. That’s great news for cycling fans, who can look forward to seeing some really competitive racing.”