Tour de France champion Chris Froome to race at RideLondon

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Tour de France champion Chris Froome to race Prudential RideLondon-Surrey Classic

Team Sky man to hone Rio 2016 Olympic preparations with team-mates Geraint Thomas and Ian Stannard

Tour de France champion Chris Froome will race on British soil at the 2016 Prudential RideLondon-Surrey Classic, as part of a strong Team Sky line-up for the race.

Froome sealed his third Tour de France triumph in four years at the weekend, and his first engagement after winning the yellow jersey will be at RideLondon on Sunday (July 31).

The 31-year-old is set to lead Team GB in the men’s road race at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games and he and Team Sky team-mates Geraint Thomas and Ian Stannard will hone their preparations in London.

It marks Froome’s debut in the one-day race, and is also his first race back in Britain since the 2014 Tour de France Grand Depart.

Chris Froome will hone his Olympic preparations at RideLondon (pic: Sirotti)

Race director Mick Bennett said: “We are thrilled to have Tour de France champion Chris Froome riding for Team Sky at this year’s Prudential RideLondon-Surrey Classic.

“His performance over the last three weeks has enthralled the country and we are proud Chris has chosen the Classic as his last race before Rio.

“Now British fans have the chance to watch him in action and cheer on the man who has achieved the incredible feat of three Tour de France wins. We expect thousands to come out and line the streets of London and Surrey.”

Fellow Brit Steve Cummings (Dimension Data), a late addition to the Rio 2016 squad, will also finalise his preparations at RideLondon, having already been confirmed for the race.

And Bennett added: “It confirms the important place the Prudential RideLondon-Surrey Classic now holds in the international calendar.

“The fact that the three-time winner of the Tour de France views this race as the perfect preparation for his bid for Olympic gold shows the calibre of the race we have developed in just three years.”

Team Sky’s squad is completed by two-time podium finisher Ben Swift, Dutch sprinter Danny van Poppel and Germany’s Christian Knees.

Alongside Froome and Cummings, two other Tour de France stage winners will be on the startline too – Michael Matthews (Orica-BikeExchange) and Andre Greipel (Lotto-Soudal), the latter fresh from his victory on the Champs-Elysees.

Former world champion and Classics specialist Tom Boonen (Etixx-QuickStep) is another big-name rider to have already been confirmed.

Froome is one of four Tour de France stage winners confirmed for the race, alongside Steve Cummings, Michael Matthews and Andre Greipel (pic: Sirotti)

This year’s race will roll out of St. James Park before heading out to the Surrey Hills, where the climbs of Leith Hill, Ranmore (twice) and Box Hill (twice) need to be negotiated before the return to The Mall.

BMC Racing’s Jempy Drucker is the defending champion, after sprinting to victory from a six-strong group in front of Buckingham Palace last year.

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