Vuelta a Espana: Poels, Rosa and Nieve to back Chris Froome

'It certainly feels as if I’ve got unfinished business with this race,' Tour winner says

Team Sky have confirmed Wout Poels, Mikel Nieve, Diego Rosa and Gianni Moscon in their squad to back Chris Froome as he attempts to complete the Tour de France-Vuelta a Espana double.

Only Jacques Anquetil and Bernard Hinault have achieved this particular double but after finishing second three times and carefully planning his racing and training in 2017, Froome and Team Sky are convinced the Briton can finally add the red Vuelta a Espana's leader jersey to his collection of four Tour de France yellow jerseys.

In addition to Poels, Nieve, Rosa, Moscon and David Lopez for the mountain stages, Froome can count on Salvatore Puccio, Ian Stannard and Christian Knees for protection and help on the flat stages and in the opening team time trial. Moscon will be making his Grand Tour debut but the rest of the team is hugely experienced, with many having won at least one Tour de France with Froome.

Froome rode a criterium in Kazakhstan over the weekend after an altitude training camp with several teammates in France. He has ridden the Vuelta five times, finishing second in 2012, 2014 and 2016.

"It certainly feels as if I've got unfinished business with this race. I've finished second three times now, but I've got a good feeling about this year's Vuelta. It feels like we're on much more of a mission this year, and aiming for the Tour/Vuelta double this season has been a huge motivation. I don't think we've been to the Vuelta a Espana with a team as strong as we've got this year," Froome in a statement from Team Sky announcing their final starting nine.

"One thing that really sets the Vuelta apart from other races is where it is in the season. You have this mixture of riders who have targeted the Vuelta specifically, and others who are coming off a big season already. Typically, it's a very aggressive race and a very punchy style of racing, which always makes for great viewing for the fans.

"It's a race I love doing, but it's relentless. The course is always a lot more mountainous than the Tour de France and the conditions are tougher. Being mid-August in Spain, it's quite common to have temperatures up in the mid 40s. It's absolutely brutal."

Team Sky for the Vuelta a España
: Chris Froome, Wout Poels, Mikel Nieve, Diego Rosa, David Lopez, Gianni Moscon, Salvatore Puccio, Ian Stannard, Christian Knees.

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