Team Sky announce Tour de France lineup

22 Jun 2017

Team Sky announce Tour de France lineup

Team Sky has announced its lineup for the 2017 Tour de France, where Chris Froome will seek a landmark fourth victory and third consecutive title.

Froome will be supported by Sergio Henao, Vasil Kiryienka, Christian Knees, Michal Kwiatkowski, Mikel Landa, Mikel Nieve, Luke Rowe and Geraint Thomas.

The three-time Tour winner has been inspired by the desire to win a historic fourth crown and believes he’s worked even harder to make it happen.

He said: “The Tour de France is a special race and it would just be incredible to win it for a fourth time. Aiming for that fourth victory has given me a lot of motivation.
“To me, each Tour tells a different story. Every Tour is a different battle in terms of getting that Yellow Jersey and then trying to hold on to it.
“We’re ready as a team and I can’t wait for the Tour to start now. Honestly, I just love it. It’s a feeling that you don’t get from any other race.”

Sir Dave Brailsford, Team Sky Team Principal, said: “We’re really looking forward to the Tour.  Chris is in good shape and he’s ready for it.
“To win the Tour once is a huge achievement, but to win it a fourth time would be remarkable.
“We’ve selected a strong and experienced lineup who will support him, and we’ll be looking to use the strength of the team to our advantage.”

Full Team Sky Tour de France lineup: Chris Froome, Sergio Henao, Vasil Kiryienka, Christian Knees, Michal Kwiatkowski, Mikel Landa, Mikel Nieve, Luke Rowe, Geraint Thomas.

Chris Froome – British – age 32
2016 winner Chris Froome returns to the Tour de France with his eyes firmly set on a landmark fourth victory and a third consecutive Tour title. Froome has spoken of the need to create his own opportunities at what is expected to be a fiercely competitive edition of the Tour, and a combative display at the Criterium du Dauphine gave an indication of things to come.
Sergio Henao – Colombian – age 29
Colombian climber Sergio Henao is enjoying the finest season of his career. Fresh from winning the Colombian national road championship in February the 29 year old won a thrilling edition of Paris-Nice, before enjoying a strong Ardennes campaign, co-leading the team alongside Michal Kwiatkowski. Henao is viewed as one of the fiercest competitors in the peloton, and Froome knows he can rely upon the loyal Colombian come rain or shine.
Vasil Kiryienka – Belarusian – age 35
Time trial specialist Vasil Kiryienka is one of the sport’s most consistent performers. Off the back of a typically committed performance at the Giro d’Italia, the popular Belarusian is sure to take the 18th Grand Tour of his illustrious career in his stride, setting tempo on the flat and in the mid-mountains. A hugely popular member of the squad, fan favourite ‘Kiry’ rarely misses a beat and is sure to be seen at the front of the peloton over the coming month.
Christian Knees – German – age 36
Christian Knees will proudly take to the start line of his 17th Grand Tour at the Grand Depart in his homeland. The German brings a wealth of experience to the table and will relish racing his first Tour de France since 2012 on the back of a resurgent 2017. He performed his typically strong and selfless role throughout the cobbled Classics campaign, then looked after Chris Froome on the flatter days at the Criterium du Dauphine. A hugely respected member of the squad, Knees will be a crucial part of the Team Sky lineup.
Michal Kwiatkowski – Polish – age 27
Racing his first Tour de France in Team Sky colours on the back of a triumphant first half of the season, Kwiatkowski is in some of the best form of his career. After winning Strade Bianche and Milan-San Remo, Kwiato earned two podium finishes in the Ardennes Classics, before demonstrating his versatility by producing an inspired climbing performance in support of Chris Froome at the Criterium du Dauphine. It’s that world-class versatility that will make Kwiatkowski invaluable on the road in France.

Mikel Landa – Spanish – age 27
If his Giro d’Italia form is anything to go by, Mikel Landa is likely to arrive at the Tour de France in outstanding shape. The Spaniard suffered an unfortunate crash on stage nine in Italy, ending his GC challenge, but he bounced back in superb fashion: third on stage 14 then second on stages 16 and 18, the Spaniard finally secured a famous win on stage 19, wrapping up the Mountains jersey in the process. Now his focus has switched to supporting Chris Froome and being part of a winning Tour team for the second year running. 
Mikel Nieve – Spanish – age 33
One of the team’s most valued climbers, Nieve is set to ride his third Tour de France in support of Chris Froome. The Basque climber, known as Frosty to his team mates, finished 12th in the Tour in 2013, has won two stages at the Giro d’Italia, and recently demonstrated his form with a strong climbing performance at the Tour de Suisse ahead of his 13th Grand Tour.
Luke Rowe – British – age 27
Amongst his many talents, Luke Rowe can also claim to be one of Chris Froome’s lucky charms - Froome has won both editions of the Tour that Rowe has raced, in 2015 and ’16. Road captain on both occasions, the popular Welshman will have a huge part to play again in 2017 after another encouraging campaign for the Classics specialist. An impressive third place finish at Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne in March was further evidence of Rowe’s development and he played a pivotal role in Sergio Henao’s Paris-Nice win, marshalling him through the race’s early crosswinds.
Geraint Thomas – British – age 31
2017 has been a whirlwind year for Geraint Thomas. The Welshman picked up a brilliant stage win at Tirreno-Adriatico and took the overall title at the Tour of the Alps on his way to co-leading Team Sky at the Giro d’Italia, but suffered a heart-breaking crash on stage nine, sustaining injuries that eventually ruled him out of the race. The 31 year old has quickly bounced back to fitness, though, and will hope to continue the excellent form he took to the Giro as he returns to the Tour.

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