The Tour de France 2021 is less than a week away and teams are announcing their rosters left right and centre, as plenty of British riders have made the cut.
Ten Brits will be on the start line in Brittany on June 26 for the Grand Départ and not all of them are riding for Ineos Grenadiers.
British riders have made the Tour selection at five other teams aside from Ineos, with Deceuninck - Quick-Step, Israel Start-Up Nation, Bahrain Victorious, Team BikeExchange, Team DSM and Arkéa-Samsic all selecting British riders.
In an announcement that surprised us all, Mark Cavendish has been selected to ride the Tour de France 2021 for Deceuninck - Quick-Step despite team boss Patrick Lefevere saying defending green jersey champion Sam Bennett was fit to ride.
Cavendish, who has won 30 stage at the Tour de France, has shown that he definitely still has the pace in the sprint after beating some of the worlds best on the final stage of the Belgium Tour a couple of weeks ago.
The 'Manx Missile' rejoined Deceuninck - Quick-Step after a spell at now Qhubeka-Assos and a year and Bahrain Victorious with his form dropping away after battling back from the Espstein Barr virus.
But, Cavendish got on board with the team's amazing winning record with four wins at the Tour of Turkey before taking a stage in Belgium. He will also be given the full Bennett lead-out train including Michael Mørkøw, who Cavendish praised saying anyone could win from his wheel.
Geraint Thomas, Tao Geoghegan Hart and Luke Rowe
Starting with Ineos Grenadiers, it is no surprise about the three Brits they have gone for with two former Grand Tour winners and a vital team captain.
Geraint Thomas is the leader of Ineos, whether that word has 'co-' in front of it to share with Richard Carapaz and Richie Porte is not yet fully know, but he has shown excellent form coming into the race and is tipped by the bookies to be the closest challenger to the two Slovenian stars of Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates) and Primož Roglič (Jumbo-Visma).
Thomas comes into the race with an overall win at the Tour de Romandie and a third-place at the Critérium du Dauphiné, where he helped Porte to overall victory. He has not yet raced against Roglič but lost out massively to Pogačar at Tirreno-Adriatico finishing 17-12 behind the 2020 Tour winner.
Tao Geoghegan Hart is the next on the Ineos list for British riders. The 2020 Giro d'Italia winner selected to not try and defend his unexpected pink cladded crown in Italy, which was won by his team-mate Egan Bernal, but rather go back to the Dauphiné and then have a tilt at the Tour.
Geoghegan Hart has been a bit hit and miss this season but seems to be heading into peak form just in time for the race around France after taking an impressive 10th overall at the Dauphiné while working for Thomas and Porte. Maybe, if the stars align in his way, he could maybe get leadership or a bit of carte blanche in the mountains.
Lastly, for Ineos at least, Luke Rowe. A vital cog in the Ineos Grand Tour machine. Rowe does not often win but he is integral to the team on the flat terrain, especially if the wind gets up.
While it isn't really an issue for riders like Thomas, who has previously won the E3 Saxo Bank Classic, protecting the likes of Carapaz, Porte and even Geoghegan Hart in the crosswind could be the key to winning the race or missing out on a top 10 in GC, so Rowe is likely one of the first names on the roster.
Onto Israel Start-Up Nation and the four-time champion that is Chris Froome. While he has not got close to his old imperious form of old that he had before his horrific crash at the 2019 Critérium du Dauphiné, where he broke multiple bones including the femur, Froome has been selected for the Tour squad for the first time in two years.
He is not down as the team leader, with that honour going to Canadian talent, Michael Woods, who has shown great climbing form this year. But rather Froome is there in a road captain role so he can help guide his team-mates on what is best to do at the race. Even though he's in a team with experienced campaigners such as André Greipel and Dan Martin.
Simon Yates has also been added to the start list for Team BikeExchange. After taking a solid third overall at the Giro, Yates comes to the Tour to support an almost resurrected Esteban Chaves who has shown that he is close to being back to his sparkling best in the mountains.
Yates, who won the best young rider's jersey at the Tour in 2017, hasn't really shown too much at the race aside from two stage wins in 2019. Last year saw his brother, Adam (now at Ineos), have a spell in the yellow jersey as well as finishing in ninth overall, maybe Simon can get a similar result.
The final WorldTour team to select a Brit is Bahrain Victorious with 22-year-old, Fred Wright joining a very strong looking team for the GC. But the youngster, who has already ridden one Grand Tour at the Vuelta a España last year, will be focusing on the flatter stages and supporting new Italian champion, Sonny Colbrelli in the sprints as well as Jack Haig, Pello Bilbao and Wout Poels in the build-up to the mountains.
Wright joined Bahrain Victorious last year after he had a trainee stint with the now-defunct CCC Team in 2019. He has been a strong support rider for some of the teams big names in races like Milan-San Remo, Tour of Flanders and most recently the Tour de Suisse.
22-year-old Cumbrian climber, Mark Donovan has been selected to ride for Team DSM and search for stage wins.
Donovan has shown in the last couple of years that he is developing into a very impressive talent on the climbs with two top 10s at last year's Vuelta a España. He has put in a solid shift in the mountains for his leaders too, usually Tiesj Benoot, who is also the team's leader for the Tour.
He has taken part in seven races this year including a full Ardennes Classics campaign where he rode as a domestique for his leaders. He was riding in this role throughout all his races in 2021 but may get his opportunity in this aggressive looking team that is likely going to target stage wins above all else.
Connor Swift and Dan McLay
Moving onto the last team, but with two more riders. French ProTeam Arkéa-Samsic has once again put their trust in former British champion, Connor Swift with the duty of looking after Nairo Quintana in the flatter stages, but he also has the added responsibility of keeping Nacer Bouhanni well placed for the sprints too.
This year's Tro Bro Léon winner has shown brilliant form in the build-up to the Tour, taking a very impressive seventh overall at the Belgium Tour and sixth at the recent Dwars door het Hageland and will likely be the man to kick off the sprint train for Bouhanni.
On Swift's wheel as the direct lead out for Bouhanni is probably going to be the final Brit on the start list, Dan McLay. Another rider who has shown an upping in form in the smaller races. He was the last man for Bouhanni at the Belgium Tour as practice for the Tour, with varying success.
But, McLay looks to be the main man for the former French champion sprinter with only Clément Russo looking like the other potential fast man to support in the sprint train as the team look to split responsibilities between sprints and GC.
Some teams are still yet to announce their line-ups, with more potential British riders waiting to see if they've made the cut.
Chris Lawless (TotalEnergies), Mark Donovan (DSM), Hugh Carthy and Simon Carr (EF Education-Nippo) are just a few names that could be selected.
Hi, I'm one of Cycling Weekly's content writers for the web team responsible for writing stories on racing, tech, updating evergreen pages as well as the weekly email newsletter. Proud Yorkshireman from the UK's answer to Flanders, Calderdale, go check out the cobbled climbs!
I started watching cycling back in 2010, before all the hype around London 2012 and Bradley Wiggins at the Tour de France. In fact, it was Alberto Contador and Andy Schleck's battle in the fog up the Tourmalet on stage 17 of the Tour de France.
It took me a few more years to get into the journalism side of things, but I had a good idea I wanted to get into cycling journalism by the end of year nine at school and started doing voluntary work soon after. This got me a chance to go to the London Six Days, Tour de Yorkshire and the Tour of Britain to name a few before eventually joining Eurosport's online team while I was at uni, where I studied journalism. Eurosport gave me the opportunity to work at the world championships in Harrogate back in the awful weather.
After various bar jobs, I managed to get my way into Cycling Weekly in late February of 2020 where I mostly write about racing and everything around that as it's what I specialise in but don't be surprised to see my name on other news stories.
When not writing stories for the site, I don't really switch off my cycling side as I watch every race that is televised as well as being a rider myself and a regular user of the game Pro Cycling Manager. Maybe too regular.
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