Team Sky's Luke Rowe admits his characteristics suit the first nine stages well as he hopes to guide Chris Froome to Tour de France glory
The 25-year-old is one of five Brits named in Sky’s squad and his main aim over the course of the three weeks is to protect their general classification leader Chris Froome.
Froome himself described the first nine stages as being like a Classic every day, and success the Spring races is a key reason why Rowe was chosen to help chaperone the 2013 Tour winner.
Rowe finished eighth in Paris-Roubaix – Sky’s highest finisher – and was instrumental in helping Geraint Thomas win E3 Harelbeke and the Welshman is keen to use his skills to guide Froome over the cobbles of stage four.
“[Paris-Roubaix] is a big factor why I’m there,” he told the Press Association.
“My characteristics suit the first nine days quite well and that’s certainly an influential factor on the reason why I’m in the team.
“As soon as the route was announced (last October) I looked at it straight away and eyed up a few stages that would suit me and where I could really contribute to Froomey and the boys.”
For Rowe it marks his first Tour de France, but having ridden alongside Froome at the Tour de Romandie and Criterium du Dauphiné in recent months he knows just what is expected of him.
Coming off a fourth-place finish in the National Championships road race in Lincoln, Rowe is certainly in good shape ahead of the Tour and with a number of Classics experts in the peloton, the opening stages are set to be explosive.
Cycling Weekly takes a look at the cobbles on stage four of the Tour de France