Chris Froome to ride the Tour de France 2021

The Briton will return to the race after a two-edition absence

Chris Froome at the 2016 Tour de France
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Israel Start-Up Nation have confirmed that Chris Froome will ride the 2021 Tour de France.

The four-time winner will be the team's road captain and will ride in support of Michael Woods who will lead the team in the second Grand Tour of the season.

Since finishing third at the 2018 edition, Froome hasn't raced the Tour after a career-threatening injury in June 2019 ruled him out of that year's race and his condition wasn't deemed good enough to participate in the delayed 2020 race.

However, despite indifferent form during the 2021 season, the Briton will be part of Israel Start-Up Nation's eight-man squad.

Froome's selection was uncertain given his performances following his comeback from injury, but his employers clearly see the benefits he can provide the team simply with his presence.

His best results in 2021 have been two 47th places on GC at the Dauphiné and UAE Tour, while at the Tour of the Alps he featured in one stage's breakaway.

Having won seven Grand Tours in all, his know-how and experience will be a valuable aid to Woods who is targeting both stage wins and a high-placing on the GC.

The team's sports manager Rik Verbrugghe said: "As a four-time winner of the Tour, the value of his experience cannot be underestimated. It will be extremely useful for the team during the race.

"On a performance level, I believe that we see another improvement from the Dauphiné to the Tour after our recent training camp in the Alps.

"We hope to see Chris progress stage by stage throughout the race."

It is thought that should Froome's condition further improve during the Tour, he may then be given a leadership role at the Vuelta a España, a Grand Tour that he has won twice.

He will not be going to the Tokyo Olympics as part of the Great Britain squad.