Chris Froome to lead Team Sky at Tour de France after anti-doping case dropped

Chris Froome

Chris Froome has won the last three Tours

Chris Froome will aim for a record-equalling fifth Tour de France win, after his anti-doping case was dropped.

The Briton will lead Team Sky, with Welsh duo Geraint Thomas and Luke Rowe among the support riders.

Froome, 33, was under investigation by cycling’s world governing body but they closed proceedings on Monday.

Tour organisers had said Froome taking part could “damage” the race but now say the UCI’s decision means there is no reason to prevent his participation.

Thomas, who won the Criterium du Dauphine in June and the British time trial last week, is competing in his ninth Tour.

He will be a protected rider within the team as the back-up plan if Froome should falter.

“The last 12 months have been the hardest but also the most incredible of my career,” said Froome, who won May’s Giro d’Italia to hold all three Grand Tour titles at the same time.

Froome is bidding to move level with Eddy Merckx, Bernard Hinault, Jacques Anquetil and Miguel Indurain as the only five-time winners of the Tour.

Having also won last year’s Vuelta a Espana, just a month after his fourth Tour success, Froome could also equal the record for a fourth Grand Tour win in a row.

Froome says he wants to make “history” by achieving both feats, adding: “I am under no illusion about the challenge, but I am feeling ready and I couldn’t ask for a better team to support me.

“I’ve never started the Tour de France after riding the Giro d’Italia and it has meant a completely different approach to my season.”

Team Sky boss Dave Brailsford added: “Chris is already one of the greats of the sport. This is a chance for him to cement that reputation even further.”

Rowe is included less than a year after he broke his leg in multiple places while whitewater rafting on his brother’s stag party last August.

Team Sky Tour de France squad: Chris Froome, Egan Bernal, Jonathan Castroviejo, Michal Kwiatkowski, Gianni Moscon, Wout Poels, Luke Rowe, Geraint Thomas.

Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/cycling/44697287

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