Who will be in Sky’s Tour de France team?

We only have to wait until Thursday to see the nine riders Team Sky will be taking to this year’s Tour de France.

Barring any last-minute mishaps, it is clear that Bradley Wiggins and Mark Cavendish will spearhead their two pronged attack, but it is the seven other riders who could determine the chances of the team winning both the yellow and green jerseys.

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Team Sky has a meticulous selection process, and each rider’s data is analysed closely to see exactly who has the form needed for the forthcoming race.

Wiggins is currently tapering for the Tour in Majorca, while Cavendish has been in Essex training with Rob Hayles. But what about the others?

Following on from Wiggins’s victory in the Critérium du Dauphiné, Chris Froome, Edvald Boasson Hagen, Richie Porte, Danny Pate and Christian Knees took part in a week-long training camp in France. They were based in the Alpine resort of Châtel, and they looked at stages seven, eight and nine (the 41.5km time trial) of the Tour.

Very few eyebrows will be raised if those five riders are selected. Porte and Froome have excelled in the climbs working for Wiggins already this year, Knees and Pate are two powerhouses and Boasson Hagen can competently do both.

Add in Cavendish’s loyal team-mate Bernie Eisel to the mix, that effectively only leaves one more space in the team.

Australian Mick Rogers is likely to be in contention, particularly after his second-place finish at the Dauphiné. He also finished fifth in Romandie having helped Wiggins there, too. Rogers has started seven Tours, finishing all but the 2007 edition.

Former HTC-Highroad rider Kanstantsin Siutsou is another option; he has notably ridden every race that Wiggins has ridden in 2012. Only Richie Porte can say that, too.

Spaniard Xabier Zandio started (and finished) both the Tour and Vuelta in 2011, and was also part of the race-winning team at Paris-Nice. He has finished 10 of the 11 Grand Tours he has started, and made it to Paris in every Tour de France he has competed in. Another powerhouse, he would probably bring more to the table for Cavendish.

Michael Barry and Thomas Lofkvist both completed the Tour de Suisse on Sunday yet, despite their experience, it would appear they will miss out.

We could be wrong, of course. But at least we will know the answers soon.

Related links

Tour de France 2012: Cycling Weekly’s coverage index