Team Sky has announced its lineup for the 2018 Tour de France, with Chris Froome set to target a record-equalling fifth Tour de France title and a fourth consecutive Grand Tour victory.
Froome will be supported on the roads of France by Egan Bernal, Jonathan Castroviejo, Michal Kwiatkowski, Gianni Moscon, Wout Poels, Luke Rowe and Geraint Thomas.
The team will be showing their support for Sky Ocean Rescue throughout the Tour, with a new kit featuring orcas on the back of the jersey to highlight the campaign.
Froome, the reigning Tour de France, Vuelta a Espana and Giro d’Italia champion, is aiming to join Jacques Anquetil, Eddy Merckx, Bernard Hinault and Miguel Indurain as a five-time Tour France winner, while also attempting to complete the Giro-Tour double.
He said: “The last twelve months have been the hardest but also the most incredible of my career. 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. But I learnt a lot from riding the Vuelta straight after the Tour de France last year which has given me confidence coming into this race.
“I want to make history with a fifth Tour de France win and fourth consecutive Grand Tour. 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.
“This is the biggest race in the year, in front of the most passionate cycling fans, and I can’t wait to get racing.”
Team Principal Sir Dave Brailsford said: “We go into the Tour with a lot of confidence. Chris is in great shape after the Giro – mentally and physically – and the whole team want to build on the success we had in Italy. Chris is already one of the greats of the sport. This is a chance for him to cement that reputation even further.
“We have chosen the Team to support him that we believe is best equipped to meet the demands of this year’s race. It is a team of real versatility and one that balances youth with experience. We are really proud that Gianni Moscon and Egan Bernal will be making their Tour de France debuts with us. They are both very talented bike riders and will have a lot to offer. It is also fantastic that Luke Rowe will be riding the Tour again as our road captain after his serious accident last summer. It is testament to his ability and determination that he has come back so strongly.
“These are very special weeks every year. We love riding in France and we are all looking forward to starting racing.”
Team Sky Tour de France 2018 lineup
Chris Froome – British – age 33
Arriving at the Tour holding all three Grand Tour titles, Froome will look to create yet more history as he seeks to win a fifth Tour de France, and a fourth Grand Tour in a row. Victory at the Giro d’Italia in May saw Froome further cement his standing as one of the greatest stage racers in the history of the sport. With a strong team supporting him once again, the Brit will be hoping to add to the 59 days he has already spent in Tour de France yellow.
Egan Bernal – Colombian – age 21
Making his Tour de France debut in his first season as a professional, the young Colombian has wasted little time in marking himself out as one of the hottest prospects in the sport. Bernal has claimed overall victories at both the Tour of California and Colombia Oro y Paz, in addition to second place at the Tour de Romandie and a national time trial title. A prodigious climbing talent, he will provide key backup in the high mountains.
Jonathan Castroviejo – Spanish – age 31
A strong all-round presence, Castroviejo starts his first Tour de France for Team Sky fresh from claiming a fourth Spanish time trial title. With his TT expertise likely to prove invaluable on the stage three team time trial, Castroviejo is also a strong climber, comfortable setting a tempo on the front in the mountains. Having raced all three Grand Tours, he adds plenty of experience to the line-up.
Michal Kwiatkowski – Polish – age 28
One of the strongest and classiest bike riders on the planet, Kwiatkowski arrives at the Tour fresh from claiming a national title on the road. The Pole was a revelation at the 2017 Tour de France, as he worked tirelessly to set up Chris Froome for victory. A strong presence both on the flat, in time trials, and on the climbs, the 2014 world road race champion is an incredible asset to the team, having also won the Volta ao Algarve and Tirreno-Adriatico earlier this year.
Gianni Moscon – Italian – age 24
A Tour de France debut for Gianni Moscon represents the next step in the Italian’s burgeoning career. After helping Froome to victory at the Vuelta a Espana last season, Moscon now gets his chance at the Tour. The Italian time trial champion also has a top-five finish at Paris-Roubaix to his name and, coupled with impressive climbing skills, he is a superb all-round bike rider.
Luke Rowe – British – age 28
An ever-present in Chris Froome’s last three Tour de France victories, Luke Rowe has carved out a reputation as one of the best wingmen in the sport. The Welshman lives for the rough and tumble of the Classics and crosswind racing, but is equally at home setting a tempo on the front of the race in the mountains. A decorated road captain, Rowe has grown up with Team Sky and last year battled back from multiple leg fractures, showing his determination on and off the bike.
Wout Poels – Dutch – age 30
The Dutchman has proved to be Chris Froome’s rock time and again in the high mountains, playing a pivotal role in no less than four of the Brit’s Grand Tour victories. Most recently in action together at the Giro d’Italia, Poels is a climber of the highest order and has claimed victory at Liege-Bastogne-Liege and the Volta a la Valenciana in his own right since joining Team Sky in 2015.
Geraint Thomas – Great Britain – age 32
One of the most versatile riders in the pro peloton, Geraint Thomas has transformed himself from track Gold medallist, to Classics star, to stage racer extraordinaire. The Welshman first rode the Tour in 2007 and is climbing better than ever, as witnessed by his recent victory at the Criterium du Dauphine. After a spell in the yellow jersey last year, Thomas will start the 2018 race as a protected rider alongside Chris Froome.