Team Sky picks five British riders for Tour de Romandie

Froome, Thomas, Swift, Stannard and Peters will be part of Team Sky's eight-man team for the Tour de Romandie (April 26 to May 1)

Ian Stannard chases on stage four of the 2015 Tour de Romandie
(Image credit: Watson)

Chris Froome, Geraint Thomas, Ian Stannard, Ben Swift and Alex Peters are the five British riders among the eight men picked by Team Sky to contest the 2016 Tour de Romandie, April 26 to May 1.

Tour de France champion Froome has won the Tour of Romandie twice - in 2013 and 2014 - and will be one of the men to watch in the six-day, WorldTour-level race in Switzerland.

He will be joined up by Welshman Thomas, who won the race's prologue in 2012 and who led the Tour of Romandie for a day last year after the opening team time trial . A badly-timed puncture on stage two saw him lose four minutes, and with it the race lead.

Chris Froome won the 2014 Tour de Romandie

Chris Froome won the 2014 and 2013 editions of the Tour de Romandie
(Image credit: watson)

Thomas has turned his attention away from the classics and over to stage racing this season, so it will be interesting to see how he fares and how he rides alongside Froome in the climb-filled race.

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Froome had to settle for third last year behind overall winner Ilnur Zakarin and Simon Spilak (both Katusha).

With two individual time trials - a short 3.95km opening prologue and stage three's 15km test - and two mountain-top finishes (stages two and four), the course will suit both Froome and Thomas.

Geraint Thomas in the 2016 Tour of Flanders

Geraint Thomas in the 2016 Tour of Flanders
(Image credit: Watson)

If Froome wins the Tour de Romandie this year he will be only the second rider in history to win the race on three occasions. Irishman Stephen Roche is currently the only rider to have achieved that feat, winning in 1983, 1984 and 1987.

Swift will be the team's option for days finishing in a bunch sprint, which on paper look like stages one and five. New recruit Peters will make his debut in the race.

The five British riders will be joined on Sky's team by Pole Michal Kwiatkowski, Spaniard Mikel Nieve and Italian Salvatore Puccio.

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British rider Simon Yates (Orica-GreenEdge) is also on the provisional list of starters. Yates finished in sixth position overall last year. He was forced to abandon the Tour of the Basque Country earlier in April after crashing.

Notable other participants in the 2016 Tour de Romandie include former Sky rider Richie Porte (BMC), Tejay van Garderen (BMC), Nairo Quintana (Movistar), Romain Bardet (Ag2r) and Thibaut Pinot (FDJ).

Froome, Kwiatkowski, Puccio and Swift will also be taking part in Liège-Bastogne-Liège on Sunday, April 24.

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