(Reuters) - Chris Froome will lead Team Sky’s lineup for the Tour de France, the team announced on Tuesday, a day after cycling’s world governing body cleared him in a doping case.
Defending champion Froome will be seeking a fourth straight Grand Tour win when he starts the gruelling race on Saturday.
On Monday, the UCI cleared him of any wrongdoing over his positive test for an asthma drug at last September’s Vuelta a Espana which he won. Froome, 33, was also victorious in the Giro d’Italia in May while the investigation was continuing.
“The last twelve months have been the hardest but also the most incredible of my career,” Froome said in a statement. “I have never started the Tour de France after riding the Giro d’Italia and it has meant a completely different approach to my season.”
However, he said he had learnt a lot from riding the Spanish event straight after the Tour de France last year.
Froome is looking to emulate Jacques Anquetil, Eddy Merckx, Bernard Hinault and Miguel Indurain as a five-time Tour de France winner.
He will be supported by team-mates Egan Bernal, Jonathan Castroviejo, Michal Kwiatkowski, Gianni Moscon, Wout Poels, Luke Rowe and Geraint Thomas.
“I’m under no illusion about the challenge, but I am feeling ready and I couldn’t ask for a better team to support me,” Froome added. “This is the biggest race in the year, in front of the most passionate cycling fans, and I can’t wait to get racing.”
Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru; editing by David Stamp