Chris Froome in Team Sky squad for Giro d’Italia

France’s Kenny Elissonde replaces Irish rider Philip Deignan in an eight-strong team

Chris Froome is in the Team Sky squad for the Giro d’Italia. Photograph: Denis Doyle/Getty

Chris Froome is in the Team Sky squad for the Giro d’Italia. Photograph: Denis Doyle/Getty

 

Chris Froome has been confirmed in Team Sky’s squad for the 101st Giro d’Italia, which begins next week.

The British team announced Froome would lead an eight-rider squad on Friday, with France’s Kenny Elissonde replacing Philip Deignan after the Irishman was named in the provisional line-up by race organisers earlier this week.

Four-time Tour de France winner Froome’s participation in the Tour of Italy, which begins in Jerusalem, Israel on May 4th and concludes in Rome on May 27th, is under scrutiny over an adverse finding for elevated levels of salbutamol at last year’s La Vuelta, which he won.

As the asthma medication is a specified substance, Froome can continue racing, but he acknowledged the situation on Friday when outlining his dream to be the winner of all three Grand Tours — of France, Spain and Italy — at the same time.

Froome said: “Of course there is an element of risk involved in targeting the Giro before the Tour, but I think I would regret it for the rest of my life if I didn’t give this race a go.

“I also recognise the wider issues and as I have said before I am doing everything I can, together with the team, to help resolve them as quickly as possible.

“In the meantime I am focused on racing. I would love to win the maglia rosa (the Giro race winner’s pink jersey), but I am under no illusions whatsoever about how hard the race will be.”

Froome will be joined in the Team Sky squad by Vasil Kiryienka of Belarus, Germany’s Christian Knees and Colombia’s Sergio Henao — all of whom helped the 32-year-old win the Tour last July.

Elissonde, Wout Poels of Holland, Spain’s David de la Cruz and Salvatore Puccio of Italy complete the line-up.

Team Sky principal Dave Brailsford said: “We have been on the podium before but have never won the maglia rosa which is a great ambition for us.

“Chris is also going for a third consecutive Grand Tour. Everyone in cycling knows just how tough that is. We have a strong, talented and versatile team supporting him. Every rider will have an important contribution to make.”

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