Tour de France 2014: key selection issues for Team Sky

Defending champions set to finalise line-up this week

Sky certainly have no shortage of willing domestiques in their ranks, as has been proven over the course of this season.

Richie Porte, Geraint Thomas, Mikel Nieve and David Lopez all provide climbing support par excellence and if all are fit, their form this season certainly suggests they will be on the start line.

American Danny Pate pulls hard on the front of the bunch at the Criterium du Dauphine (pic: Sirotti)

Belarussian duo Vasil Kiryienka – a training partner of Froome’s – and Kanstantin Siutsou, fourth at the Route du Sud having abandoned the Giro after two weeks, are also strong contenders for a starting place.

That still leaves places up for grabs, however, and there have been a number of names stand out to fill them.

First of those is veteran American Danny Pate, the 35-year-old having been in Wiggins’ Tour of California winning team before riding for Froome at the Dauphiné. The American was one of the riders to put in some big shifts early on the undulating stages, particularly stage two.

If the Dauphiné was the Tour dress rehearsal, he will certainly be a contender for selection.

Compatriot Joe Dombrowski, who was a key domestique for Wiggins in California and also enjoyed a strong finish to the Tour de Suisse – finishing in Martin’s group on the final day’s summit finish, is another in good form while another American, Ian Boswell, was in the top ten at the Route du Sud.

No American has started the Tour for Team Sky yet and perhaps 2014 could be the year that changes – though Bernie Eisel and Christian Knees are just two more of the riders who could end up preventing that.

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