Vuelta a España - Froome to lead Team Sky at Vuelta

Chris Froome will be Sky's team leader when the Vuelta a Espana gets under way on Saturday.

Vuelta a España - Froome to lead Team Sky at Vuelta

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Chris Froome

The 2013 Tour de France champion has endured a torrid, injury-ravaged season, but is fully fit and takes his place at the head of the nine-man team.

Froome, who was forced to abandon the Tour de France last month due to injury, will make his return to racing in a team that includes fellow Brits Peter Kennaugh and Luke Rowe.

The nine-man line-up is drawn from six different nations and also includes Philip Deignan, Mikel Nieve, Vasil Kiryienka, Kanstantsin Siutsou, Christian Knees and Dario Cataldo.

Bradley Wiggins had already confirmed that he would skip the Vuelta in order to defend his Tour of Britain crown next month.

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"This is exactly the sort of challenge that I need after the disappointment of withdrawing from the Tour de France," said Froome, who came second in the Spanish race in 2011 and fourth in 2012.

"You can’t dwell on disappointment, you have to move on quickly to next thing and the Vuelta has become the perfect race for me to focus on...

"I’m really pleased with how my recovery has gone since the Tour, I’ve been training hard and the support team are pleased with my progress. I'm a little bit light on racing days this year so getting a Grand Tour under my belt will not only help me now, but it will also help my preparation for next year.

"Going for the win will certainly be tough, but we’ll give it everything we’ve got."

Dave Brailsford echoed Froome's comments.

"This year’s Vuelta is a great opportunity for us to get back to Grand Tour racing and I’m delighted that we’ll go there with a strong team that’s very capable of performing well," said Sky's team boss.

"Chris Froome will be our team leader and it’s great to have him back on the bike and focused on the challenge ahead.

"He was obviously very disappointed after having to withdraw from the Tour de France but Chris has recovered and trained well since the injury. He’s now more determined than ever to get back to what he does best – riding Grand Tours...

"Experience and expertise are vital components when selecting any successful team and Chris has three hugely experienced riders alongside him in Christian Knees, Kanstantsin Siutsou and Vasil Kiryienka. Together they have raced 36 Grand Tours and that adds a huge amount of value to the team.

"We’re all excited, focused and ready to get started."

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