Team Sky unveil Tour squad

Brailsford hoping team will inspire

Last updated: 30th June 2010

Team Sky have announced the line-up of nine riders who will compete at the team's debut Tour de France, starting on 3 July in Rotterdam.

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Bradley Wiggins, who came fourth in last year's Tour de France to equal the best-ever finish by a British rider, will be supported by fellow Brits Geraint Thomas and - in his first ever Tour de France - Steve Cummings, along with six riders from other nationalities, all of whom have shown great form throughout the 2010 season.

The team includes experienced Grand Tour riders, such as Juan Antonio Flecha, who has shown his talent in this season's Classics, and Thomas Löfkvist, who put in a strong performance at the Tour de Suisse. Michael Barry also makes selection having shown excellent leadership at the Giro d'Italia this year. Michael has ridden in Vuelta a Espana and Giro d'Italia Grand Tours, but this will be his first-ever Tour de France.

Edvald Boasson Hagen also makes his Tour de France debut following a fantastic comeback from his Achilles injury. Edvald won the 2009 Tour of Britain, has already taken five stage wins this season and will be a contender for more stage wins during the Tour.

The full roster of nine riders is: Michael Barry, Steve Cummings, Juan Antonio Flecha, Simon Gerrans, Edvald Boasson Hagen, Thomas Löfkvist, Serge Pauwels, Geraint Thomas and Bradley Wiggins.

Tough final decision

Speaking of the Tour de France selection, team principal Dave Brailsford said: "There's a great mix in this line-up for our Tour de France debut. It's great that we have three British riders in there, all on merit. And we have a blend of Tour experience and young talent that will help us to perform this year and continue to develop.

"It's been a tough final decision as you would expect when there are such talented riders, so many in good form, and excitement around our Tour debut, but we are pleased with the outcome.

"The aim is to perform well, make a positive contribution to the Tour and help to get more people enjoying the sport. We want to inspire. And these nine riders will help us to do that."

Team Sky supports Sky's work as principal partner of British Cycling, helping to fuel the sport from grass roots to elite level, and builds on the principles that have made British riders a consistent success on the track.

Through the team, the aims are:

To inspire people of all ages and abilities to get on their bikes, through the team's positive profile, attitude and success.

Add further support to competitive cycling in Great Britain.

To create the first British winner of the Tour de France.

Team Sky was created by BSkyB with British Cycling in February 2009 before Sky Italia and News Corporation joined the Sky Pro Cycling project in December. The Team was awarded a four-year UCI Pro Licence in the autumn and made its debut at the Tour Down Under in January.

Since then Team Sky has won the team time trial in the Tour of Qatar, taken stage wins in the Tour of Oman, won the prestigious Belgian semi-classic Omloop Het Nieuwsblad, and had stage wins in Tirreno-Adriatico and Paris-Nice and most recently the Giro d'Italia.