Cycling: Team Sky announce Tour de France squad

 

Bradley Wiggins' support squad
for the Tour de France was today confirmed, with Team Sky relying
largely on the riders which helped the Londoner scoop an unprecedented
series of results this season.

Joining Wiggins, winner of the Paris-Nice, Tour de Romandie and Criterium du Dauphine stage races to establish himself as favourite for the yellow jersey, will be world champion Mark Cavendish, winner of 20 stages in the last four Tours.

Team Sky's selection, which includes a third Briton in Chris Froome, suggests Wiggins' bid to become the first British winner of the Tour takes priority over Cavendish's defence of the points classification's green jersey.

Also named in the nine-man squad for the 99th edition of cycling's most fabled race were Norway's Edvald Boasson Hagen, winner of Team Sky's first Tour stages in 2011, Germany's Christian Knees, Australian duo Richie Porte and Michael Rogers, Kanstantsin Siutsou of Belarus and Austrian Bernhard Eisel.

Seven of the team set to begin the Tour on June 30 in Liege were in the eight-man squad as Wiggins won the Dauphine earlier this month.

American Danny Pate is the unfortunate party, omitted to allow Cavendish to have the support of Eisel, who acts as his ever-present bodyguard.

The line-up was as anticipated, with Wiggins having spent much of his time in Tenerife and Majorca this season honing preparations with a select group as he aims to beat defending champion Cadel Evans (BMC Racing) to the maillot jaune in Paris on July 22.

Team principal Dave Brailsford said: "Deciding our final nine was a very tough challenge because we are blessed with a great depth of talent in our squad.

"We believe we have picked a strong and balanced team though, and one which can cater for any eventuality.

"Our priority this year is the general classification with Bradley but that doesn't mean we'll neglect the sprint stages, or Mark's bid for the green jersey.

"Chris, Mick, and Richie are among our strongest climbers and will all be there to support Bradley in the mountains, but then we've got riders like Christian and Kosta (Siutsou) who have strong engines on the flats, and versatile riders like Edvald and Bernhard who can support Mark in the sprints.

"This squad is truly world class with a proven pedigree of success. They have trained, raced and lived together since the start of the season and that has moulded them into a well-oiled, focused and close-knit team.

"They are all full of confidence after their recent run of results and it's going to be exciting to see how the race transpires."

Wiggins, who is embracing the tag of favourite, said: "I'm really proud to be part of such a strong unit going into the Tour de France.

"The team's preparation has been perfectly managed and our form this season gives us a great chance of being successful.

"I've been waiting for this moment for a long time and I'll do everything I can to win the Tour de France. Hopefully we can do the business for ourselves and our fans, and become the most successful British-based cycling team ever."

Cavendish will be the first Briton to wear the world champion's rainbow jersey at the Tour in 46 years, but is poised to prioritise the Olympic Games road race, which takes place on July 28, and may even not complete the route to Paris.

The 27-year-old from the Isle of Man said: "It's a dream to ride for a team that holds so much British interest and has a chance to win the yellow jersey.

"I know the push for the GC podium will make it more difficult for me to repeat the success I've enjoyed the last few years.

"But I'll compete and - as always - I'll dedicate myself to making it a successful Tour for Team Sky and, let's hope, for Britain."

PA

News
Legendary blues and rock singer Joe Cocker has died of lung cancer, his management team as confirmed. He was 70
people70-year-old was most famous for 'You are So Beautiful'
News
people
Sport
Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho
footballLatest score and Twitter updates
Life and Style
fashionOne man takes the hipster trend to the next level
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
Approaching sale shopping in a smart way means that you’ll get the most out of your money
life + styleSales shopping tips and tricks from the experts
News
newsIt was due to be auctioned off for charity
Life and Style
A still from a scene cut from The Interview showing North Korean leader Kim Jong-un's death.
tech
Environment
Sir David Attenborough
environment... as well as a plant and a spider
Voices
'That's the legal bit done. Now on to the ceremony!'
voicesThe fight for marriage equality isn't over yet, says Siobhan Fenton
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Ashdown Group: IT Support Technician - 12 Month Fixed Term - Shrewsbury

£17000 - £20000 per annum: Ashdown Group: IT Helpdesk Support Technician - 12 ...

The Jenrick Group: Maintenance Planner

£28000 - £32000 per annum + pension + holidays: The Jenrick Group: Maintenance...

The Jenrick Group: World Wide PLC Service Engineer

£30000 - £38000 per annum + pesion + holidays: The Jenrick Group: World Wide S...

The Jenrick Group: Project Manager

£35000 per annum + Pension+Bupa: The Jenrick Group: We are recruiting for an e...

Day In a Page

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

The 12 ways of Christmas

We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

The male exhibits strange behaviour

A new study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
Diaries of Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and Noël Coward reveal how they coped with the December blues

Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

Noël Coward parties into the night, Alan Clark bemoans the cost of servants, Evelyn Waugh ponders his drinking…
From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore: A prodigal daughter has a breakthrough

A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

The story was published earlier this month in 'Poor Souls' Light: Seven Curious Tales'