Madrid: Geraint Thomas will support Chris Froome`s bid to add a maiden Vuelta a Espana title to his win at the Tour de France last month, Team Sky announced on Monday.
Thomas played a key role in Froome`s second Tour victory of his career and forms part of a strong team also including Sergio Henao, Mikel Nieve and Nicolas Roche.
"It`s been an unforgettable summer for us after winning the Tour de France for the third time, but it`s important to move on quickly, realign our goals and focus on the new challenges ahead," Sky team principal Dave Brailsford said in a statement.
"We`ve selected a strong squad for the Vuelta that has the right blend of talent and experience to support Chris Froome through the tough three weeks ahead."
Froome is attempting to become only the third man after Frenchmen Jacques Anquetil (1963) and Bernard Hinault (1978) as the only riders to win both the Tour de France and the Vuelta in the same year.
However, he faces stiff competition from fellow Grand Tour winners such as Nairo Quintana, Vincenzo Nibali and Alejandro Valverde.
"I have great memories from this race so I`m pleased to be back. I`ve had a good rest after the Tour and now I`m ready for my next challenge," said Froome.
"It will certainly be a very competitive race given the strong field - which will be great for the fans to watch. The competition will be tough and this is bike racing so anything can happen, but we have an excellent team and we`re ready to get the race started."
The gruelling three week tour begins with a team time trial from Puerto Banus to Marbella on Saturday.