sport

Froome to lead Sky at Vuelta

Chris Froome will look to make amends for the disappointment of crashing out of the Tour de France by leading Team Sky’s challenge for overall victory at the Vuelta a Espana.

The 29-year-old has been named in the British squad's nine-man line-up for the season's third and final Grand Tour, which starts in Jerez de la Frontera on Saturday and ends in Santiago de Compostela on September 14.

It will be the third time in four years Froome has ridden the Vuelta, having finished second in 2011 and fourth in 2012.

He will be one of three Britons in Team Sky's squad, with British national road race champion Peter Kennaugh and Welshman Luke Rowe also selected.

Further support will come from Ireland's Philip Deignan, Belarusians Vasil Kiryienka and Kanstantsin Siutsou, Germany's Christian Knees, Italy's Dario Cataldo and Spain's Mikel Nieve, who was Team Sky's highest finisher at last month's Tour de France, in 18th.

Froome said: "This is exactly the sort of challenge that I need after the disappointment of withdrawing from the Tour de France. 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 have always really enjoyed racing at the Vuelta, it's a tough race but a great opportunity for the whole team. I know that the level of competition will be incredibly high this year, but we have got a strong line up so we hope to be as competitive as possible."

Froome was forced to withdraw from the Tour on stage five after fracruring his left wrist and right hand in a spree of three crashes in 24 hours.

He later flew to the United States to recover and resume training, before continuing his preparations for the Vuelta at his home on the south coast of France.

Froome added: "I'm really pleased with how my recovery has gone since the Tour. I have 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 will give it everything we have got."

Team Sky principal Sir Dave Brailsford added: "Chris Froome will be our team leader and it is 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 is now more determined than ever to get back to what he does best - riding Grand Tours.\"

Team Sky's team for the Vuelta a Espana: Chris Froome (GB), Peter Kennaugh (GB), Luke Rowe (GB), Philip Deignan (Ire), Mikel Nieve (Spa), Vasil Kiryienka (Blr), Kanstantsin Siutsou (Blr), Christian Knees (Ger), Dario Cataldo (Ita).