Wiggins' support squad named
Paris - Bradley Wiggins's support squad for the Tour de France was confirmed on Thursday, with Team Sky relying largely on the riders who have helped the Londoner to an unprecedented series of results this season.
Joining Wiggins, who has won the Paris-Nice, the Tour de Romandie and the Criterium du Dauphine stage races this year to establish himself as a leading contender for the yellow jersey, will be world champion Mark Cavendish, winner of 20 stages in the last four Tours.
"I'm really proud to be part of such a strong unit going into the Tour de France," Wiggins said.
"The team's preparation has been perfectly managed and our form this season gives us a great chance of being successful.
"I've been waiting for this moment for a long time and I'll do everything I can to win the Tour de France.
"Hopefully we can do the business for ourselves and our fans, and become the most successful British-based cycling team ever."
Team Sky's selection, which includes a third Briton in Chris Froome, suggests Wiggins' bid to become the first British winner of the Tour takes priority over Cavendish's defence of the points classification's green jersey.
"It's a dream to ride for a team that holds so much British interest and has a chance to win the yellow jersey," Cavendish said.
"I know the push for the GC (general classification) podium will make it more difficult for me to repeat the success I've enjoyed the last few years. But I'll compete and - as always - I'll dedicate myself to making it a successful Tour for Team Sky and, let's hope, for Britain."
Also named in the nine-man squad for the 99th edition of the Tour are Norway's Edvald Boasson Hagen, winner of Team Sky's first Tour stages in 2011, Germany's Christian Knees, Australian duo Richie Porte and Michael Rogers, Kanstantsin Siutsou of Belarus and Austrian Bernhard Eisel.
Bradley Wiggins (GBR), Mark Cavendish (GBR), Chris Froome (GBR), Michael Rogers (AUS), Richie Porte (AUS), Edvald Boasson Hagen (NOR), Bernhard Eisel (AUT), Kanstantsin Siutsou (BLR), Christian Knees (GER)