Olympic Gold medalist Geraint Thomas will lead Team Sky in this September's Tour of Britain, alongside former Tour stage winner and King of the Mountains Ben Swift.
Thomas (far left) and Swift (far right) will both be competing in the Tour of Britian
Thomas will be joined in The Tour of Britain by fellow Olympic Gold Medalist Ed Clancy, who leads the Rapha Condor Sharp team, which was also revealed today. The Team Sky provisional line-up includes a strong British focus for their home Tour, with Thomas and Swift joined by rising stars Peter Kennaugh and Alex Dowsett, the latter of whom last week took his first professional victory at the Tour du Poitou in France.
The 2011 event will be Thomas' sixth Tour of Britain, with the Welsh rider having finished sixth and twelfth in the last two editions, while Swift secured his first professional win the last time he rode The Tour in 2009, winning the stage from Hatherleigh to Yeovil. The quartet will be joined by double Tour of Britain top ten finisher Michael Rogers, and fellow Australian Mathew Hayman
Dave Brailsford, Team Sky Principal, commented: "This is a strong and exciting team for the Tour of Britain. After a hugely successful season on the roads of Europe and beyond, it is really exciting to be racing in front of our home fans and we will be looking to repay the great support they have given the team all year."
"The squad features a great mix of young and experienced riders that will be well equipped to deal with the race's challenges. Team Sky was created to give British talent a chance at the elite end of racing and in Geraint, Ben, Alex and Peter we have four of this country's most exciting professionals. They have shown all season with their results that they can ride and compete with the world's best cyclists. Alongside them will be the hugely experienced Michael Rogers and Mathew Hayman - riders who have performed at Grand Tour level on numerous occasions. We have a really exciting team and can't wait for 11 September."
Geraint Thomas, Team Sky rider, commented: "The Tour of Britain is a great race and this will be my sixth appearance. It is always exciting to ride in front of our home fans. The support we have had on the road all year has been amazing and has played a big part in the success we have achieved as a team. We can't wait to put on a good show for them. It's going to be a great week of racing."
Ben Swift, Team Sky rider, commented: "I am looking forward to racing my home Tour again particularly as it is where I secured my first professional win in 2009. There will be some tough opposition this year with a number of star riders appearing, but we have a really exciting team with a real depth to it. The team is riding well and full of confidence and we can't wait to get going."
Race Director Mick Bennett addeed: "The announcement of such a strong Team Sky line-up clearly sends a message that the team is serious about winning The Tour of Britain and pulling on the IG Markets Gold Jersey."
"In Geraint, Ben, Alex and Peter they have four of the finest British cyclists currently racing, all of whom are more than capable of winning The Tour of Britain. Rapha Condor Sharp also look to have a strong line-up, with which they will be hoping to become the first domestic British trade team to win a stage of The Tour of Britain."
In addition to World and Olympic Champion Clancy, Great Britain teammate Andy Tennant, himself a 2012 Olympics hopeful, will also ride for Rapha Condor Sharp, alongside former British Champion Kristian House.
Australian Zak Dempster and Namibian Dan Craven add international flavour to the line-up, which is completed by Devon cyclist Jonathan Tiernan-Locke, who will be looking forward to Stage Five of The Tour of Britain, which takes in many of the Devonian's training roads.
Sky Procycling provisional Tour of Britain line-up:
Alex Dowsett (GBR), Mathew Hayman (AUS), Peter Kennaugh (GBR), Michael Rogers (AUS), Ben Swift (GBR), Geraint Thomas (GBR).
Reserves: Steve Cummings (GBR); Greg Henderson (NZl); Jeremy Hunt (GBR)
Rapha Condor Sharp provisional Tour of Britain line-up:
Ed Clancy (GBR), Dan Craven (NAM), Zak Dempster (AUS), Kristian House (GBR), Jonathan Tiernan-Locke (GBR), Andy Tennant (GBR)
Reserves: Graham Briggs (GBR), Dean Downing (GBR), Ben Greenwood (GBR), Casey Munro (AUS), Dean Windsor (AUS)