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Cycling: Froome leads Team Sky's Tour de France charge

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

Chris Froome will lead Team Sky's charge for further Tour de France glory after Bradley Wiggins' triumph last time round, the British outfit announced on Thursday.

The 28-year-old heads a virtually unchanged team from the eight riders that competed in the recent Criterium du Dauphine and which Froome won with Australian team-mate Richie Porte runner-up.

Nairobi-born Froome has been in superlative form this season, with a number of stage wins on the Tour of Oman, Criterium International, Tour de Romandie and the Dauphine.

He was runner-up to Wiggins -- Britain's first-ever Tour winner -- last year and also made the podium in the Tour of Spain.

Wiggins, who followed up his Tour win with gold in the Olympic time-trial, has withdrawn from the race due to injury after being forced to abandon the Tour of Italy through illness.

The 100th edition of the Tour begins on the Mediterranean island of Corsica on June 29.

Froome said he was "delighted" with the balance with the team, which comprises five nationalities, and everyone would play a part in the hunt for success.

"Most of us were at the Criterium du Dauphine and I was hugely impressed there with the way the team came together in control of the leader's jersey. It gave me huge faith and I could not be happier with the selection," he said.

"We're ready, excited and can't wait to get going."

Team principal Dave Brailsford said selecting the riders had been tough but believed it was the right combination to support the in-form Froome.

"Around him are eight quality riders who have each earned their place in the team. They will add the climbing ability and the engines to provide the perfect support for Chris, especially in the crucial mountain stages," he added.

"We've seen what this group are capable of at the Dauphine and all have raced with Chris successfully at some stage this year."

Team

Chris Froome (GBR), Richie Porte (AUS), Edvald Boasson Hagen (NOR), Peter Kennaugh (GBR), Vasil Kiryienka (BLR), David Lopez (ESP), Kanstantsin Siutsou (BLR), Ian Stannard (GBR), Geraint Thomas (GBR)

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/130620/cycling-froome-leads-team-skys-tour-de-france-charge