Poels and Landa head Team Sky at Il Lombardia

Climber-focused line-up for British squad

Team Sky has announced a strong team for the final WorldTour race of the season, Il Lombardia. Wout Poels headlines the eight-man for the race, which takes place on Saturday, along with Mikel Landa.

Leopold König, Nicolas Roche, Mikel Nieve and Peter Kennaugh will also provide some climbing firepower. Ben Swift and Vasil Kiryienka complete the squad and gives them riders to work on the flatter sections of the course.

Poels was the winner of Team Sky’s first Monument when he took victory in Liege-Bastogne-Liege earlier this season. He was an instrumental part of Chris Froome’s success at the Tour de France and recently took a stage winy at the Tour of Britain. This will be the Dutchman’s third consecutive appearance at the one-day race, who finished a career-best 12th last season.

Landa had a rocky start to his first season with Team Sky with illness forcing him to delay the start to his racing calendar. He won the Giro del Trentino and had been performing well at the Giro d’Italia before falling ill and eventually abandoning. He later rode the Tour de France in support of Froome. Nieve has had probably the busiest season of all with 76 race days and two Grand Tours under his belt. Nieve helped to salvage the team's Giro d'Italia after Landa left by securing a stage win and the mountains classification. 

For König, Roche and Swift, Il Lombardia is likely to be their final race in Team Sky colours. König will return to Bora-Hansgrohe after two years away with the team, Roche heads to BMC for 2017, while Swift is set to join the new Chinese-backed TJ Sport project.

The very climber-focused line-up should give the team several options on the revamped course which sees the race begin in Como and finish in Bergamo, rather than the reverse as it was last season. Vincenzo Nibali won the 2015 edition of the race with an impressive solo break.

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