• Team Sky's Chris Froome during the final stage of the Critérium du Dauphiné (AAP)Source: AAP
Team Sky has delivered a climbers's team for the Tour de France, with Australian Richie Porte again acting as wingman for team leader Chris Froome as he attempts to win the race for the second time.
Cycling Central

30 Jun 2015 - 5:50 AM 

Froome won the race in 2013 but crashed out of the Tour in the fifth stage last year and will again face potential danger in the first week of the race which starts in Utrecht, The Netherlands, on 4 July.

"Last year’s disappointment is this year’s motivation for Team Sky. From the moment I crashed out in 2014 I’ve had the burning desire to get back to this year’s Tour in the best possible shape. 

"I’m ready and I’m fortunate to have a strong team around me selected to meet the many different challenges of this year’s race – from the cobbles to the climbs. 

"There’s a great spirit in the group and we’re ready to give our best for every kilometre of every day over the three weeks of the Tour. 

"We’re counting down the days. We can’t wait to get started and we are up for the challenge ahead."

Importantly the team has selected classics specialist Ian Stannard as Froome's domestique in the dangerous first week, which includes cobbled sections on Stage 4, through the Netherlands and Belgium.

"He's a powerhouse, his real role will be protecting the team, protecting Chris, he's gonna be absolutely pivotal in the first week," team manager Dave Brailsford said.

Australian Porte has recovered from the hip and knee injuries that led to his withdrawal from the Giro d'Italia last month and will be riding his fifth Tour.

Nicolas Roche, Wout Poels and Leopold Konig will assist Froome in the mountains while Geraint Thomas, Pete Kennaugh and Luke Rowe will be on the hunt for stage victories across the 21 stages and 3360km of racing.

 "The Tour is shaping up to be one of the most exciting in years and we’ve chosen a team of talented riders for the race," Brailsford said.

"We've studied this year’s route carefully and have selected the riders who we believe will best deliver our race strategy. Inevitably it is always a difficult decision. We're all looking forward to a great race and we have a strong team, led by Chris Froome, that’s hungry for success. 

"I’m confident that Team Sky will be competitive but of course we can take nothing for granted. One thing we can say for certain is that it’s going to be a great contest and a great three weeks of racing for the fans. That is fantastic for the sport of cycling."

Team Sky for the Tour de France
Chris Foome (GBR), Richie Porte (AUS), Ian Stannard (GBR) Nicolas Roche (IRL), Wout Poels (NED), Leopold Konig CZE), Geraint Thomas (GBR), Pete Kennaugh (GBR) and Luke Rowe (GBR).


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