No Grand Tour leadership for Wout Poels in 2017

Froome's chief lieutenant will take a supporting role again next season

Liege Bastogne Liege live tv guide
Wout Poels wins the 2016 Liège-Bastogne-Liège. Photo: Graham Watson

Wout Poels has made himself a valuable member of Team Sky (opens in new tab) over the last couple of the years, not only for his domestique work in service of Chris Froome (opens in new tab) at the Tour de France (opens in new tab), but also for picking up the team's first Monument victory (opens in new tab) at Liège-Bastogne-Liège.

However, despite that, Poels looks unlikely to be given a chance to lead the team at a Grand Tour in 2017, with the Dutchman telling NOS.nl (opens in new tab) that he still hadn't asked for a leadership role.

"I would have asked for it, but unfortunately no," he said. "That's the only downside for riding for a big team like Sky."

Watch: Giro d'Italia 2017 essential guide

Before the 2016 season, Poels said that he was willing to give "one more year" in support of Chris Froome, before turning his attention to pursuing his personal ambitions.

The expectation was that the 29-year-old, who recently signed a new three year contract, would be given leadership of the team at the Giro d'Italia (opens in new tab), although that role could now go to Geraint Thomas (opens in new tab).

As was the case in 2016, Poels will start his season at the Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana, but will then ride Paris-Nice (opens in new tab) instead of Tirreno-Adriatico (opens in new tab) as he prepares to defend his Liège-Bastogne-Liège title.

From there Poels's says that his race programme is still to be decided, although given his performances in previous years, his place in the Team Sky Tour de France squad should be assured.

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Henry Robertshaw began his time at Cycling Weekly working with the tech team, writing reviews, buying guides and appearing in videos advising on how to dress for the seasons. He later moved over to the news team, where his work focused on the professional peloton as well as legislation and provision for cycling. He's since moved his career in a new direction, with a role at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.