Frustrated Giro duo Froome's key aides on Tour

Chris Froome (Gallo Images)
Chris Froome (Gallo Images)

London - Chris Froome's tilt at a fourth Tour de France title will be aided by two riders who saw their Giro d'Italia ambitions ended by a freak accident, Team Sky announced on Thursday.

Spaniard Mikel Landa and Welshman Geraint Thomas were caught up in a mass fall after Dutchman Wilco Kelderman clipped a police motorbike on the ninth stage of the Giro.

Landa went on to finish the race but Thomas was injured. He has recovered and is able to take his place alongside Landa to aid Kenya-born Froome's bid for glory.

"The Tour de France is a special race and it would just be incredible to win it for a fourth time," said 32-year-old Froome.

"Aiming for that fourth victory has given me a lot of motivation.

"To me, each Tour tells a different story. Every Tour is a different battle in terms of getting that yellow jersey and then trying to hold on to it.

"We're ready as a team and I can't wait for the Tour to start now. Honestly, I just love it. It's a feeling that you don't get from any other race," added Froome, who will be seeking to add this year's crown to those won in 2013, 2015 and last year.

Missing from the line-up though will be a key lieutenant from last year's victory in Dutch rider Wout Poels.

Poels has only just returned to competition after recovering from a serious knee injury he suffered in February.

However, Team Sky's chief Dave Brailsford, who will be hoping for some positive stories after months of negative ones, is happy with the make-up of the team and Froome's form.

Froome finished fourth overall in the key lead-up race the Criterium du Dauphine earlier this month.

"We're really looking forward to the Tour," said Brailsford.

"Chris is in good shape and he's ready for it.

"To win the Tour once is a huge achievement, but to win it a fourth time would be remarkable.

"We've selected a strong and experienced line-up who will support him, and we'll be looking to use the strength of the team to our advantage."

Team Sky line-up for this year's Tour de France:

Chris Froome, Sergio Henao, Vasil Kiryienka, Christian Knees, Michal Kwiatkowski, Mikel Landa, Mikel Nieve, Luke Rowe, Geraint Thomas

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