Team Sky confirm pre-Tour de France race squads: Chris Froome to defend Criterium to Dauphine title, Bradley Wiggins to lead at Tour de Suisse

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Team Sky confirm pre-Tour de France race squads: Chris Froome to defend Criterium to Dauphine title, Bradley Wiggins to lead at Tour de Suisse

Both races to form part of Tour de France selection, says Dave Brailsford

Chris Froome will defend his Criterium du Dauphine title in preparation for the Tour de France, while Bradley Wiggins will lead Team Sky at the Tour de Suisse.

Froome, who was in Yorkshire last weekend to recce the first two stages of the Tour de France Grand Depart, will bid for Team Sky’s fourth consecutive victory in the Criterium du Dauphine after a block of altitude training in Tenerife.

Chris Froome won last year’s Criterium du Dauphine and will be backed by a strong line-up for this year’s title defence (Pic: Sirotti)

With a mountainous route unveiled for this year’s traditional pre-Tour form-finder, which takes place from June 8-15, Froome will be joined by a strong team of climbing domestiques, including his chief lieutenant, Richie Porte.

The Australian, runner-up behind Froome last year, joins Vasil Kiryienka, David Lopez, Mikel Nieve, Danny Pate, Xabier Zandio and Geraint Thomas – the latter fresh from winning Bayern Rundfahrt.

Meanwhile, Tour of California winner Wiggins, who said after his success in America he is hoping to be part of Froome’s support squad at the Tour, will lead the team at the Tour de Suisse. The 2012 Tour de France champion will be joined by three of the riders who helped propel him to Stateside success – Joe Dombrowski, Christian Knees and Luke Rowe.

And with Tour de France places up for grabs, Peter Kennaugh, and Giro d’Italia trio Dario Cataldo, Philip Deignan and Ben Swift complete the line-up for the race, taking place from June 14 to June 22.

Froome and Wiggins have now not raced with each other since the 2013 world championships but team boss Sir Dave Brailsford insists the door is still open for riders – including Wiggins – to state their case for a place in Team Sky’s Tour de France squad.

Sir Bradley Wiggins, fresh from his Tour of California success, will lead Team Sky at the Tour de Suisse (Pic: Sirotti)

“Both the Criterium du Dauphine and Tour de Suisse are WorldTour events and we are looking to perform in both races,” said Brailsford.

“Bradley heads to Switzerland with a strong team after a great win in California and we’ve got the right group for the Dauphine, especially considering the nature of the course.

“Both of these races will form part of our selection for the Tour.

“We have to name 13 riders in a long list during June and we’ll do that from across the squad, including riders at the Route du Sud [June 20 to June 22], not only those in the Dauphine and Tour de Suisse groups.”

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