Strong line-up to support Froome in his search for a fourth Tour triumph

Team Sky have announced their squad for the Tour de France, with Chris Froome supported by a strong team including Geraint Thomas, but with no place for Ian Stannard or Wout Poels.

The team will be hoping to pick up their fifth Tour de France title in six years after Bradley Wiggins took Britain’s first Tour win in 2012, followed by Chris Froome’s victories in 2013, 2015, and 2016.

>>> Read more: Tour de France 2017 Start List 

However Froome will head into the Tour having not won a race so far this season, the first time that he has made it this far into a season without a win since 2012.

>>> ‘Chris Froome’s not the same rider he was in the last few years, but he’s still the man to beat’

He rode aggressively at the recent Critérium du Dauphiné, but eventually finished a slightly disappointing fourth in race which he has won before each of his previous Tour triumphs.

If Froome finds himself short of form or suffers a crash or major time loss, then the team could turn to Geraint Thomas as a back-up leader.

The Welshman was meant to lead the team at the Giro d’Italia, but was forced to abandon from injuries sustained from a crash with a motorbike on stage nine.


Watch: Tour de France 2017 contenders – Chris Froome


Alongside Thomas, there are four other riders who will be dedicated to supporting Froome in the high mountains.

Mikel Landa will come to France having won the mountains classification at the Giro, while Sergio Henao and Mikel Nieve have both played vital parts in Froome’s previous Tour triumphs.

Vasil Kiryienka and Michal Kwiatkowski are two of the most versatile riders on the team, and should be able to stay alongside their team leader deep into mountain stages, but also hold their own close to the front of the peloton on nervous flat stages

The remaining riders on the team are Christian Knees and Luke Rowe who are likely to be used early in mountain stages, but have mainly earned their places in the team for their ability to keep Froome out of trouble on flat stages, especially nervous days in the first week where fighting for position will be vital.

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Surprisingly there is no place for either Ian Stannard or Wout Poels in the Team Sky Tour de France squad, the first time either rider will not be in the race since 2014.

Poels has been suffering from a knee injury since crashing at the Ruta del Sol in February, only returning to action at the Route du Sud last week.

However Stannard has had no known injury problems this season. He abandoned the Critérium du Dauphiné on stage five but finished the Route du Sud.

The Tour de France starts on July 1 with a 14km individual time trial on the streets of Düsseldorf.

Team Sky Tour de France team

Chris Froome
Sergio Henao
Christian Knees
Vasil Kiryienka
Michal Kwiatkowski
Mikel Landa
Mikel Nieve
Luke Rowe
Geraint Thomas