Chris Froome will headline Team Sky's strong nine-man lineup for this summer's edition of the Tour de France. The 31-year-old followed Sir Bradley Wiggins in winning cycling's most prestigious race back in 2013 and last year became the first Briton to triumph twice courtesy of a 72-second advantage over Colombian Nairo Quintana.
Such an impressive victory came against an unfair backdrop of suspicious scrutiny over his dominant performances and unfounded speculation that he might not be riding clean. Froome, who withdrew from the 2014 Tour after crashing on stage five, even endured abuse from spectators on the streets and appeared to have a cup of urine thrown in his face by a man who allegedly accused him of being a "doper".
The Nairobi-born rider subsequently released physiological data from tests undertaken last year in a bid to end any lingering doubts over the legitimacy of those aforementioned achievements.
"The Tour de France will always be the pinnacle of our sport," said Froome, who will begin stage one at Mont-Saint-Michel as the favourite to win another Tour following his third career success at the Criterium du Dauphine earlier this month.
"I feel in good shape coming into the race this year and am fortunate to have a strong team around me – both on and off the bike. Every rider obviously starts every new Tour equal and what has gone before counts for nothing. This year I am hungrier than ever for success.
"There is not a trace of complacency in the team. We know how hard this race will be and how much we will have to give if we want to win it again. But we have trained hard. We're ready for the challenge and can't wait to get back racing in front of the millions of people in France who make the race so special."
Froome will be chiefly supported once again by Wales' Geraint Thomas. Joining that duo are Sergio Henao, Vasil Kiryienka, Mikel Landa, Mikel Nieve, Wout Poels, Luke Rowe and Ian Stannard. The 103rd edition of the Tour de France begins on 2 July and finishes in Paris 22 days later.