Giro d’Italia 2018: Chris Froome’s Team Sky squad named

Team Sky's Chris Froome cycling in a line with his team-mates

Froome finished fourth overall in last week’s Tour of the Alps, his last race before the Giro

Four-time Tour de France winner Chris Froome’s Team Sky squad for this year’s Giro d’Italia has been named.

The 32-year-old Briton is targeting a third straight Grand Tour victory at the Giro, which starts on 4 May in Jerusalem, Israel.

Organisers RCS Sport released the provisional start list on Tuesday.

Froome is joined by three riders from his 2017 Tour-winning team – Belarus’ Vasil Kiryienka, Germany’s Christian Knees and Colombia’s Sergio Henao.

Dutchman Wout Poels, Republic of Ireland’s Philip Deignan, Spain’s David de la Cruz and Salvatore Puccio of Italy make up the rest of Team Sky’s eight rider line-up.

Defending champion Tom Dumoulin will lead Team Sunweb, while Italy’s Fabio Aru (UAE Team Emirates), France’s Thibaut Pinot (FDJ) and Colombian Miguel Angel Lopez (Astana) are Froome’s main rivals for the winner’s pink jersey.

The 101st edition of the Giro ends in Rome on 27 May.

Froome is riding the Giro for the first time since 2010, following back-to-back Grand Tour titles at the Tour in July and the Vuelta a Espana in September.

The Team Sky leader has to explain to cycling’s world governing body, the UCI, how he returned double the allowed level of legal asthma drug salbutamol in his urine during his Vuelta win.

He announced his intention to ride the Giro in November before his adverse drugs test was made public. RCS was unaware of the issue and race director Mauro Vegni called on the UCI to “sort out” the case before the start of the Giro.

Vegni subsequently said Froome is “welcome” at the race and said he will “always” consider the Briton the winner should he claim overall victory, even if he is later suspended and stripped of the result.

Froome finished fourth in the Tour of the Alps on Friday, his last race before the Giro, with Pinot claiming overall victory.

Simon Yates (Mitchelton-Scott), Alex Dowsett (Katusha-Alpecin) and Hugh Carthy (EF-Education First) are the other three Britons set to ride the Giro.

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