Team Sky have revealed the eight riders who will support Chris Froome’s bid to seal a Tour de France-Vuelta a Espana double, with Britain’s Ian Stannard among them.
Froome is the pre-race favourite for the 2017 Vuelta a Espana, which starts with a team time trial in Nimes on Satuday (August 19).
And he will be backed for the season’s final Grand Tour by a strong team, which includes two of the men who helped him to win the 2017 Tour de France – Christian Knees and Mikel Nieve.
Spanish veteran David Lopez, Grand Tour debutant Gianni Moscon, key climbing domestique Wout Poels and Tour de Pologne King of the Mountains Diego Rosa are also selected, and will play a pivotal role on the climbs.
And the team is completed by Italian Salvatore Puccio, who has raced the last two Vueltas, and will be lining up at his eighth Grand Tour for Team Sky in all.
It means British duo Peter Kennaugh, who wore the red jersey after the first stage last year, and neo-pro Tao Geoghegan Hart miss out, having been named in Sky’s longlist for the race.
Froome is bidding to become only the third rider in pro cycling history to win the Tour and Vuelta in the same year, having finished second in the Spanish Grand Tour for the third time last year.
And the 31-year-old four-time Tour champion believes he has unfinished business in the race.