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Sky Tour line-up takes shape

Bradley Wiggins (Team Sky) before the stage

Bradley Wiggins (Team Sky) before the stage (Image credit: Bettini Photo)

According to the Guardian, eight of the nine Team Sky riders to compete in the Tour de France have already been decided by the team principal Dave Brailsford.

Bradley Wiggins will lead the squad in their debut Tour, with Juan Antonio Flecha, Edvald Boasson Hagen, Kurt Asle Arvesen, Thomas Löfkvist, Steve Cummings and Simon Gerrans all said to be definitely nominated. Still under consideration are Michael Barry, Sylvain Calzati and Greg Henderson.

The team's leader will be supported by the experienced Flecha and Arvesen, together with Cummings, who is making his Tour debut. Löfkvist and Gerrans will provide back-up for the Englishman in the mountains. Boasson Hagen is expected to challenge for stage wins, as will Henderson, the team's sprinter, if he is selected.,

Wiggins has stepped up his preparation this week with a reconnaissance of the Tour de France's key mountain stages. He started with the Alpine stages on Monday, then travelled to the Pyrenees and will finish his recon ride on Saturday by checking out the route of the penultimate time trial in Bordeaux.

Seven team staff, along with two team-mates in Cummings and Barry, have joined him in his meticulous preparation. Last year, Wiggins did not ride any of the Tour parcours in advance, which proved to be a disadvantage later when he was competing for the overall win.