The most decorated British road cyclist of all time makes his long-awaited first appearance in the Tour de Yorkshire from May 2-5.
He will be taking a field that will also include Greg Van Avermaet, the defending champion who won the race last year. Other confirmed big names for the race in Doncaster now include Marcel Kittel, and Mark Cavendish
It marks the first time Froome has raced in Yorkshire since opening the defence of his first Tour de France title there in 2014.
The introduction of the annual Tour de Yorkshire followed in 2015, and later this year Doncaster will host the UCI Road World Championships.
The events combined have thrust the town into the global cycling spotlight, and Froome for one is excited to be coming back as the race’s headline act.
“Having the Tour de France start in Yorkshire obviously got a lot of people out and got a lot of people really excited about cycling,” said Froome, in the official Tour de Yorkshire programme.
“And the knock-on effect that it had is just massive, to the extent where Yorkshire and cycling now go hand in hand.”
Froome has had to wait for his Tour de Yorkshire debut due to its proximity to the Giro d’Italia, the first grand tour of the year which traditionally starts a week after the White Rose race finishes. But having won the Giro last year to complete the grand tour set, Froome can now concentrate on winning the four-day race that begins in Doncaster on Thursday, May 2, and finishes in Leeds on Sunday, May 5.
“My memories from racing in Yorkshire is of just being absolutely overwhelmed by everyone who came out to support – and just the magnitude of it,” said Froome, who will lead the challenge of Team INEOS – formerly Team Sky – in May.
“It was just overwhelming. But at the same time, the racing was really good. The terrain in Yorkshire, given how undulating it is and how savage some of the climbs are, make it such a unique challenge. The roads can also be twisty, it’s always up and down, so it makes for some interesting racing.”
The full list of teams for the 2019 Tour de Yorkshire is as follows:
Four UCI WorldTour teams:
CCC Team (POL), Team Dimension Data (RSA), Team Sky (Ineos) (GBR) and Team Katusha Alpecin (SUI).
Eight UCI Pro Continental teams:
Cofidis, Solutions Credits (FRA), Direct Energie (FRA), Euskadi Basque Country – Murias (ESP), Hagens Berman Axeon (USA), Manzana Postobon Team (COL), Rally UHC Cycling (USA), Riwal Readynez Cycling Team (DEN) and Vital Concept – B&B Hotels (FRA).
Six UCI Continental teams:
Canyon DHB p/b Bloor Homes (GBR), Madison Genesis (GBR), Ribble Pro Cycling (GBR), Swift Carbon Pro Cycling (GBR), Team Wiggins (GBR) and Vitus Pro Cycling p/b Brother UK (GBR),
One national team:
Great Britain Cycling Team (GBR)