Team Sky unveil strong line-up for Critérium du Dauphiné

Chris Froome will lead Sky's eight-man team at the Critérium du Dauphiné, which also includes Sergio Henao and Mikel Landa

Chris Froome wins Stage 8 and the overall 2015 Criterium du Dauphine
(Image credit: Watson)

Chris Froome will lead a very strong line-up of Team Sky riders at the Critérium du Dauphiné stage race, which starts in France on Sunday, June 5.

The defending Dauphiné champion will be joined by an 'A' team of stage racers, including Spaniard Mikel Landa who makes his return to racing after being forced to withdraw from the Giro d'Italia in May due to illness.

Also making a return to racing is Colombian Sergio Henao, who has been out of action in mid-April after an investigation was initiated into his blood values. Henao has now been cleared and the investigation shelved.

>>> Sergio Henao to return to racing at the Critérium du Dauphiné

Providing more firepower in the mountains will be Dutchman Wout Poels, who handed Sky their first Monument victory in the spring when he won Liège-Bastogne-Liège.

Pole Michal Kwiatkowski, Italian Salvatore Puccio and British classics specialists and super-domestiques Luke Rowe and Ian Stannard complete the line-up.

With the obvious exception of Geraint Thomas – who will be riding in the Tour de Suisse (June 11-19) – and a sprint option such as Elia Viviani, Sky's Dauphiné line-up can't be far short of the British WorldTour team's Tour de France squad.

Froome has won the Dauphiné on two occasions: 2013 and 2015. The 31-year-old went on to win the Tour de France last year.

>>> Critérium du Dauphiné 2016: Latest news, reports and info

This year, Froome will face very stiff opposition in the race from a host of Grand Tour stars, including Alberto Contador (Tinkoff), Fabio Aru (Astana), Romain Bardet (Ag2r), Thibaut Pinot (FDJ) and former Sky team-mate Richie Porte (BMC).

The 2016 Critérium du Dauphiné kicks off on Sunday, June 5, with a prologue mountain time trial in Les Gets. It concludes in Superdévoluy on Sunday, June 12.

Last year, Froome attacked on the race's last climb to win the final stage and take the overall race win from Tejay van Garderen (BMC).

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Nigel Wynn
Former Associate Editor

Nigel Wynn worked as associate editor on, he worked almost single-handedly on the Cycling Weekly website in its early days. His passion for cycling, his writing and his creativity, as well as his hard work and dedication, were the original driving force behind the website’s success. Without him, would certainly not exist on the size and scale that it enjoys today. Nigel sadly passed away, following a brave battle with a cancer-related illness, in 2018. He was a highly valued colleague, and more importantly, n exceptional person to work with - his presence is sorely missed.