Team Sky sending last two winners of the Tour to Critérium du Dauphiné and Tour de Suisse
Team Sky have announced that in the build up to the Tour de France, 2012 winner, Bradley Wiggins, and the 2013 winner, Chris Froome, have again been designated separate racing schedules.
The last race the duo rode together was the World Championships in Firenze last September while the last race they rode together for Sky was the 2013 Tour of Oman.
Froome will look to defend his Critérium du Dauphiné title — a race that Wiggins won in 2012 — after a block of training at altitude in Tenerife and a reconnaissance of the cobbles that will feature on stage 5 of this year's Tour. Sky's team for the Dauphiné includes several climbers who will ride in support of Froome, including last year's runner-up Richie Porte and Geraint Thomas who just secured a second overall Bayern Rundhart victory.
Having secured overall victory at the Tour of California, Wiggins' next race will be the Tour de Suisse where he will be joined by the majority of riders who helped to success in America. Also on the start line for Sky are three riders who have just completed the Giro d'Italia — Dario Cataldo, Philip Deignan and Ben Swift — and Pete Kennaugh, who were part of last year's Tour-winning team.
"Both the Criterium du Dauphiné and Tour de Suisse are WorldTour events and we are looking to perform in both races," team manager Dave Brailsford said.
"Bradley heads to Switzerland with a strong team after a great win in California and we've got the right group for the Dauphiné, especially considering the nature of the course."
While Sky enter the two races looking for victories, they will also determine the final nine-man Tour de France team that will line up in Yorkshire for the Grand Depart on July 5.
"Both of these races will form part of our selection for the Tour" Brailsford said. "We have to name 13 riders in a long list during June and we'll do that from across the squad, including riders at the Route du Sud, not only those in the Dauphiné and Tour de Suisse groups."
With Sky backing Froome to defend his Tour title, it remains undecided whether Wiggins will be selected, despite stating he would ride in support of Froome, following the publicised falling out between the duo after the 2012 Tour and the release of Froome's autobiography.
Critérium du Dauphiné: Chris Froome, Vasil Kiryienka, David Lopez, Mikel Nieve, Danny Pate, Richie Porte, Geraint Thomas and Xabier Zandio.
Tour de Suisse: Dario Cataldo, Philip Deignan, Joe Dombrowski, Peter Kennaugh, Christian Knees, Luke Rowe, Ben Swift and Bradley Wiggins.
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