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Thomas and Henao lead Sky at Tour Down Under

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Geraint Thomas greets fans during the team presentation in Utrecht.

Geraint Thomas greets fans during the team presentation in Utrecht.
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Sergio Henao (Sky)

Sergio Henao (Sky)
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Ian Stannard (Team Sky) in the start house

Ian Stannard (Team Sky) in the start house
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British national champion Pete Kennaugh has a special white jersey

British national champion Pete Kennaugh has a special white jersey
(Image credit: Twitter / Radsport)
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Luke Rowe (Team Sky) puts the hammer down

Luke Rowe (Team Sky) puts the hammer down
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)

Team Sky has named its selection for the Tour Down Under, with Geraint Thomas and debutant Sergio Henao leading the line in the race, which takes place from January 19-24.

As usual, Sky will send a solid delegation from its Classics squad to the Tour Down Under, and Thomas will be joined in Australia by Ben Swift, Luke Rowe, Ian Stannard and Salvatore Puccio. The line-up is completed by British champion Pete Kennaugh, who returns after making his Tour Down Under debut in 2015.

"We have lots of quality riders in this line-up,” said Sky directeur sportif Kurt Arvesen. “This gives us great options and we're confident of putting in another strong team performance at this race. We can't wait to get the season started and we're looking forward to seeing our Australian fans on the roadside."

Sky have performed strongly at the past two Tours Down Under thanks to Richie Porte, who placed second overall in 2015 and 4th the previous season. With Porte now at BMC, Sky’s general classification challenge is likely to be led by Henao and by Thomas, who finished 3rd overall and helped himself to a stage win in 2013.

The seven-man Sky team for the Tour Down Under will also take part in the People’s Choice Classic criterium in Adelaide on January 17.

Team Sky for Tour Down Under: Sergio Henao (Col), Pete Kennaugh (GBr), Salvatore Puccio (Ita), Luke Rowe (GBr), Ian Stannard (GBr), Ben Swift (GBr) and Geraint Thomas (GBr).