Team Sky have announced their full line-up for the Tour of Britain, which kicks off in Wales on Saturday.
The British registered team had already confirmed that both Chris Froome and Geraint Thomas would compete in the eight day race which will come to a conclusion on Sunday September 9 in London.
The Grand Tour general classification experts who claimed Giro d’Italia and Tour de France titles respectively this year will be joined by Wout Poels, Vasil Kiriyenka, Ian Stannard and Lukasz Wisniowsi.
Poels supported Thomas to Tour de France victory. The Dutch rider was listed in the initial announcement – and the team posted a video on Twitter in which he said he’d need the support of Thomas and Froome once the race kicks off.
Commenting on the home race, Thomas said: “As soon as I’d finished the Tour I knew I wanted to ride the Tour of Britain and race on home roads. It starts in Wales which will be special, and then I get to go and race across the whole of the UK. I can’t wait.”
Former national road race champion Stannard clinched a stage win at the Tour of Britain back in 2016.
Stannard attacked his fellow breakaways on day three, when the race concluded in Tatton Park, Knutsford – powering to a solo finish.
Belarus rider Kiriyenka comes to Britain from the Deutschland Tour. He took part in the Tour of Britain in 2017, his best result being third in the time trial from in Tendring, behind winner Lars Boom and second placed Victor Campenaerts.
Completing the line-up, 26-year-old Wiśniowski returns to the race having represented Etixx-Quick Step back in 2016. He last raced on British soil at the Prudential RideLondon-Surrey Classic in July and more recently rode in support of Sky’s Michal Kwiatkowski at the Tour of Poland.
Thomas and Froome last raced the event together in 2009 – since then they’ve both elevated their profiles with Grand Tour wins.
Froome has skipped the race due to its clash with the Grand Tour in Spain in recent years, but said: “It’s been a long time since I’ve raced the Tour of Britain. The Vuelta a España has always been such a big goal and sadly coincided with the Tour of Britain, but not doing La Vuelta this year gives me the chance to come back to the UK and race on what looks like a great parcours.
“I’m really looking forward to riding. I always remember there being a great atmosphere at the Tour of Britain and the race has only got bigger over the years. I’m really looking forward to coming back.”