• Chris Froome will be hunting for a fourth career Tour de France title. (Getty)Source: Getty
Chris Froome will have the benefit of a formidable Team Sky support crew as he seeks a fourth Tour de France victory.
Cycling Central

23 Jun 2017 - 7:33 AM  UPDATED 23 Jun 2017 - 7:39 AM

The British outfit confirmed its rider lineup on Thursday for the race, which starts in Dusseldorf on 1 July, with specialist climbers Mikel Landa, Mikel Nieve and Sergio Henao all included.

Geraint Thomas, who crashed out of the Giro d'Italia, also makes the list as does Milan-San Remo winner Michal Kwiatkowski, who like Thomas is known for his versatility.

The squad is completed by Vasil Kiryienka, Christian Knees and Luke Rowe.

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"The Tour de France is a special race and it would just be incredible to win it for the fourth time," Froome said in a Team Sky statement.

"Aiming for that fourth victory has given me a lot of motivation. 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."

Team Principal Dave Brailsford will be hoping for a smooth ride over the three-week race after a rocky year in which he became embroiled in the so-called "jiffy bag saga".

"We're really looking forward to the Tour. Chris is in good shape and he's ready for it," Brailsford said.

"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."

While the Tour occupies his immediate thinking, Froome is also in the middle of negotiating a contract extension which couldĀ see him close out his career with the team.

"I'm currently still under contract until the end of 2018 with Sky but we are talking about an extension," he said. "I think that does go to show that I am happy in the team and I've got no plans on going anywhere just yet.

"To me, Team Sky does feel like home. I've managed to win three Tours while at Team Sky and with the support of the team, the structure around me."