Sky sends strong team in Critérium du Dauphiné

Chris Froome will lead a very strong line-up of Team Sky riders at the Critérium du Dauphiné stage race, which starts in France on Sunday, June 5. The two-time Tour de France winner will be supported by Sergio Henao, Mikel Landa, Michal Kwiatkowski and Wout Poels in the mountains.

Luke Rowe, Ian Stannard, and Salvartore Puccio make up the rest of the eight-man team. The race starts Sunday with a 3.9-kilometre uphill prologue and concludes the following weekend after three consecutive days in the mountains. Froome’s major rivals for the race include Alberto Contador (Tinkoff), Fabio Aru (Astana), and his former Sky teammate, Richie Porte (BMC Racing).

Mikel Landa makes his return to racing after being forced to withdraw from the Giro d’Italia in May due to illness. Also making a return to racing is Colombian Sergio Henao, who has been out of action in mid-April after an investigation was initiated into his blood values. Henao has now been cleared and the investigation shelved.

Salvatore Puccio and British classics specialists and super-domestiques Luke Rowe and Ian Stannard complete the line-up. With the obvious exception of Geraint Thomas, who will be riding in the Tour de Suisse (June 11-19), and a sprint option such as Elia Viviani, Sky’s Dauphiné line-up can’t be far short of the British WorldTour team’s Tour de France squad.

Froome will face very stiff opposition in the race from a host of Grand Tour stars, including Alberto Contador (Tinkoff), Fabio Aru (Astana), Romain Bardet (Ag2r), Thibaut Pinot (FDJ) and former Sky team-mate Richie Porte (BMC).