Meet the nine Brits who will be on the start line in Düsseldorf for the 2017 Tour de France
The 2017 Tour de France start list has been all but finalised, with all 22 teams having announced their nine riders.
Among the selections are a total of nine British riders – just one short of matching the record of 10 British riders who took to the start line in the 1955, 1968, and 2015 editions of the race.
Froome will be joined by a two other Brits in the Sky squad: Luke Rowe has proved himself invaluable for protecting Froome on flat stages in previous years, while Geraint Thomas has been selected as an all-round domestique and possible back-up leader after his Giro d’Italia was ruined by a crash.
Away from Team Sky, Dimension Data have three British riders: two of whose selection was far from certain after suffering from illness and injury in the lead-up to the race.
Diagnosed with glandular fever in April, Mark Cavendish has been on a slow recovery trail over the last few months, but returned to action at the Tour de Slovénie in mid-June picking up second on the final stage.
Watch: Tour de France 2017 contenders – Chris Froome
Steve Cummings had been out of action since fracturing his collarbone, sternum, and scapula in a crash at the Tour of the Basque Country in April but made a remarkable comeback at the British national championships, scooping both the time trial and road race titles. His presence in the Tour once again ensures that the British national champ’s jersey will be seen in the peloton.
Yorkshireman Scott Thwaites joins Cummings and Cavendish on Dimension Data’s roster as the team’s third Brit.
If you’re after a British GC hope away from Froome, then Simon Yates will take to the start line on the Orica-Scott squad. Yates was initially down to race the Giro alongside twin brother Adam, but will now share Tour leadership duties with Colombian Esteban Chaves.
In normal circumstances Chaves, with two Grand Tour podiums to his name, might seem like the stronger rider, but the Colombian has been injured and was out-of-sorts at the Critérium du Dauphiné, his first race since February, meaning Yates could have more opportunity to ride for himself.
Swift makes his first Tour appearance since 2011, having been signed by UAE Team Emirates from Sky for the 2017 season. McLay picked up handful of top 10s on sprint stages in last year’s race has made the Fortuneo-Vital Concept squad.
Two notable British absentees from the race are Alex Dowsett (Movistar) and Ian Stannard (Team Sky). Dowsett just missed the cut for Movistar’s GC-centred team as they aim to propel leader Nairo Quintana into the yellow jersey. Stannard is missing from Sky‘s line-up having admitted to not being in top form.
The 2017 Tour de France kicks off in Düsseldorf, Germany, on Saturday July 1 and concludes three weeks later in Paris on Sunday, July 23.