Chris Froome headed a list of five British riders apparently selected in Team Sky’s 11-man longlist for the Tour de France.
Tour de Suisse runner-up Geraint Thomas, British champion Peter Kennaugh, Ian Stannard and potential debutant Luke Rowe were all included in the provisional line-up listed on the team website, though the list was later taken down.
Irishman Nicolas Roche, who was part of Froome’s race-winning Criterium du Dauphine squad, was not on the longlist and neither was countryman Philip Deignan.
Due to be whittled down to nine riders ahead of the Utrecht start on Saturday July 4, Richie Porte was also included for what could be his first race since abandoning the Giro d’Italia after a torrid second week.
Tour of Slovenia runner-up Mikel Nieve – Team Sky’s best-placed finisher last year – and winter signing Leopold Konig, who finished seventh for Team NetApp-Endura last year, were also both on the list having finished sixth and 17th respectively at the Giro.
American Danny Pate, Colombian ace Sergio Henao and Dutchman Wout Poels, who left Mark Cavendish’s Omega Pharma-QuickStep team in the winter, rounded off the 11 riders listed on the site.
Welshman Thomas proved his form at the Tour de Suisse, while Froome will race on the back of his Dauphine triumph, where Kennaugh, Poels, Rowe and Stannard were part of his supporting cast.
Deignan, Roche and Ian Boswell were also in the eight-man line-up for that race but should they miss the Tour it would be the first time Roche will have not started it since his 2009 debut.
Belarussian duo Kanstansin Siutsou and European Games time trial champion Vasil Kiryienka, who raced alongside Froome in 2013, were also missed off having been at the Giro instead.
David Lopez, Bernie Eisel and Xabier Zandio were other absentees despite having been in the nine-man line-up which took to the Tour de France startline in Yorkshire last year.
Team Sky longlist for Tour de France
Chris Froome (GBR)
Geraint Thomas (GBR)
Leopold Konig (CZE)
Mikel Nieve (ESP)
Richie Porte (AUS)
Peter Kennaugh (GBR)
Ian Stannard (GBR)
Danny Pate (USA)
Sergio Henao (COL)
Luke Rowe (GBR)
Wout Poels (NED)