After Giro crash, Thomas back to support Froome in Tour

"It's a feeling that you don't get from any other race", added Froome, who will be seeking to add this year's crown to those won in 2013, 2015 and last year.

Simply making the Tour's start line in Dusseldorf next week would represent a victory for Cavendish, but a decision will need to be made in conjunction with his Team Dimension Data squad as to whether he would be in condition to actually compete in France rather than merely make up the numbers.

As it has for the past few editions, the Sky squad contains plenty of strength and experience.

Geraint Thomas, Mikel Landa, Milan-San Remo victor Michal Kwiatkowski and Paris-Nice victor Sergio Henao have been named in Team Sky's line-up for the 2017 edition of the Tour.

Thomas recently abandoned his own attempt at a Grand Tour win, when he crashed on stage nine of the Giro d'Italia this May.

Former world champion Michal Kwiatkowski is rewarded for a hugely impressive spring with a place in the squad, which is completed by Colombian climber Sergio Henao.

Rider Chris Froome of Britain attends the presentation of the itinerary of the 2017 Tour de France cycling race during a news conference in Paris, France, October 18, 2016.

This year's route is unfavourable to Froome with only three high mountain stages and reduced time trial kilometres.

Team principal Dave Brailsford said: "We're really looking forward to the Tour".

UK Anti-Doping (UKAD) also investigated a claim that Wiggins was injected with triamcinolone at the end of the 2011 Criterium du Dauphine race, without a TUE being obtained.

The issue could still dog the team in France this summer, as they have previously faced hostile crowds and tough questioning during the Tour. "From an investigation point of view we will wait for the outcome but I'm very confident there's no wrongdoing".

The 32-year-old will be deputised by British duo Geraint Thomas and Luke Rowe for the three week race.

"I'm now still under contract until the end of 2018 with Team Sky, but we are talking about an extension", Froome told Press Association Sport. "The Giro went good for me, in that sense of my approach, and that makes me tackle the Tour with good expectations".

  • Joanne Flowers