Team Sky unveil riders for Tour de France: Chris Froome to be supported by three Britons

Froome, who finished second last year, is the favourite to win the race in the absence of Bradley Wiggins

Two British Tour de France debutants have been handed key roles in a Team Sky line-up designed to deliver another Briton to Paris in the yellow jersey a month from Sunday. Pete Kennaugh and Ian Stannard will make their first appearances in the race as part of a team built around Chris Froome, the overwhelming favourite to win the Tour and succeed Bradley Wiggins.

Four of the nine strong line up named by team principal Dave Brailsford are British and three of them are graduates of Britain’s cycling academy, the Welshman Geraint Thomas completing the trio. The Australian Richie Porte will be Froome’s right-hand man – providing the main support act as Froome did for Wiggins last year – and is earmarked to take on the lead should anything happen to Froome.

Four riders return from last year’s successful line up; Froome, Porte, the Norwegian Edvald Boasson Hagen and the Belorussian Kanstantsin Siutsou, who broke his leg in the early stages. There is no place for Rigoberto Uran, the Colombian who finished runner up in the Giro d’Italia last month, or, most surprisingly, the experienced Bernhard Eisel, such an integral part of last year’s team.

Thomas and Kennaugh, regarded as respectively the next two big British hopes on the road in succession to Wiggins and Froome, were part of the world record breaking team pursuit quartet that won gold at the London Olympics. They returned to the road this season and have become an integral part of a Team Sky Tour squad that has, so far, enjoyed a rewarding season, culminating in an impressive domination of the Criterium du Dauphine that saw Froome claim a fourth victory of the campaign.

The 26-year-old Stannard, British road champion last year, has earned his chance thanks to his relentless riding and ability to maintain momentum regardless of the conditions. Kennaugh, at 24 the youngest in the team and four years younger than Froome, is seen as a potential future leader, but his role in his first Tour will be to help Froome once the hard climbing begins. Thomas, entering his fourth Tour and a rider whom Sky also see as a leader in waiting, will have a similar task.

“Most of us were at the Dauphine and I was hugely impressed there with the way the team came together in control of the leader’s jersey,” said Froome, who is spending a couple of days in light training in the hills around his home in Monaco before the race begins in Corsica a week on Saturday.

“Ian, Vasil [Kiryienka] and Kosta each possess huge engines that you can’t go into a Tour without.  They will be controlling things on the front for long periods of the race and pacing me once the climbing begins.  Geraint, David and Pete will then take up the reins. Those guys have really improved their climbing abilities and will be a massive help when the pace really ramps up in the mountains.

“In Richie we simply have one of the strongest climbers in the world.  He is another who’s more than capable of winning a Grand Tour in his own right.  Having him in our ranks gives us a number of different options to play.”

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Data Governance Manager (Solvency II) – Contract – Up to £450 daily rate, 6 month (may go Permanent)

£350 - £450 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: We are currently looking...

Recruitment Resourcer

£18000 - £22000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Recruitment Resour...

HR Business Analyst, Bristol, £350-400pd

£350 - £400 per day + competitive: Orgtel: My client, a leading bank, is curre...

Account Manager (Junior)

Negotiable: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Account Manager (Junior) Account ...

A new Russian revolution: Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc

A new Russian revolution

Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc
Eugene de Kock: Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

The debate rages in South Africa over whether Eugene de Kock should ever be released from jail
Standing my ground: If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?

Standing my ground

If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?
Commonwealth Games 2014: Dai Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Welsh hurdler was World, European and Commonwealth champion, but then the injuries crept in
Israel-Gaza conflict: Secret report helps Israelis to hide facts

Patrick Cockburn: Secret report helps Israel to hide facts

The slickness of Israel's spokesmen is rooted in directions set down by pollster Frank Luntz
The man who dared to go on holiday

The man who dared to go on holiday

New York's mayor has taken a vacation - in a nation that has still to enforce paid leave, it caused quite a stir, reports Rupert Cornwell
Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business, from Sarah Millican to Marcus Brigstocke

Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business

For all those wanting to know how stand-ups keep standing, here are some of the best moments
The Guest List 2014: Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks

The Guest List 2014

Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks
Jokes on Hollywood: 'With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on'

Jokes on Hollywood

With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on
It's the best of British art... but not all is on display

It's the best of British art... but not all is on display

Voted for by the British public, the artworks on Art Everywhere posters may be the only place where they can be seen
Critic claims 'I was the inspiration for Blanche DuBois'

Critic claims 'I was the inspiration for Blanche DuBois'

Blanche Marvin reveals how Tennessee Williams used her name and an off-the-cuff remark to create an iconic character
Sometimes it's hard to be a literary novelist

Sometimes it's hard to be a literary novelist

Websites offering your ebooks for nothing is only the latest disrespect the modern writer is subjected to, says DJ Taylor
Edinburgh Fringe 2014: The comedy highlights, from Bridget Christie to Jack Dee

Edinburgh Fringe 2014

The comedy highlights, from Bridget Christie to Jack Dee
Dame Jenny Abramsky: 'We have to rethink. If not, museums and parks will close'

Dame Jenny Abramsky: 'We have to rethink. If not, museums and parks will close'

The woman stepping down as chair of the Heritage Lottery Fund is worried