British champion Peter Kennaugh is one of four Brits set to race the Tour of Britain with Team Sky next week.
The eight-stage race rolls out of Beaumaris on Sunday (September 6) and Kennaugh will be joined by countrymen Ian Stannard, Ben Swift and Andrew Fenn in Sky’s six-man line-up.
Wout Poels and Elia Viviani complete the line-up, which will see Sky look for stage wins and their second overall victory (after Sir Bradley Wiggins’ 2013 win).
Viviani, Poels and Swift have all score stage victories in the race before, and the Dutchman – a leading domestique for Chris Froome at the Tour de France in July – could well feature overall too.
Swift, who crashed out of the Tour de Yorkshire earlier in the year before team-mate Lars-Petter Nordhaug went on to claim victory, said of the race: “The Tour of Britain has become one of the stand-out races in the cycling calendar. It’s a very special feeling to race in front of your home fans and see the fantastic support that we get every year.
“Cycling has never been more popular in the UK and the crowds at the Tour of Britain get bigger with each edition of the race, which is great to see.
“This will be my seventh appearance at this race and I know just how tough the British roads can be, but we have a strong team and we’ll certainly be challenging for stage wins and the overall GC.”
The race will be Kennaugh’s first since abandoning the Tour de France with illness in July, while Stannard was also a part of Froome’s support team for the race and has since raced at the Eneco Tour and Vattenfall Cyclassics.
Viviani – who wore the Tour of Britain leader’s jersey in 2013 – was also in action in the Netherlands and Germany, claiming stage one victory in the former.
The Italian will face stiff competition at the Tour of Britain, however, with sprinting heavyweights Mark Cavendish and Andre Greipel already confirmed for the race.
Team Sky for 2015 Tour of Britain
Peter Kennaugh (GBR)
Ben Swift (GBR)
Ian Stannard (GBR)
Andy Fenn (GBR)
Elia Viviani (ITA)
Wout Poels (NED)