Young Brits Thomas, Swift, Dowsett and Kennaugh to line-up alongside seasoned Aussies Hayman and Rogers

Geraint Thomas will lead Team Sky in this year’s Tour of Britain, which starts in the Scottish Borders on Sunday 11 September. It will be the sixth year in a row that the former British champion has contested the race.

Thomas will be joined in the UCI ProTeam’s provisional starting line-up by a trio of young British riders, Ben Swift, Alex Dowsett and Peter Kennaugh, while solid experience is provided in the shape of Australia’s Mat Hayman and Michael Rogers.

Team Principal Dave Brailsford commented: “This is a strong and exciting team for the Tour of Britain. After a hugely successful season on the roads of Europe and beyond, it is really exciting to be racing in front of our home fans and we will be looking to repay the great support they have given the team all year.

“The squad features a great mix of young and experienced riders that will be well equipped to deal with the race’s challenges. Team Sky was created to give British talent a chance at the elite end of racing and in Geraint, Ben, Alex and Peter we have four of this country’s most exciting professionals. They have shown all season with their results that they can ride and compete with the world’s best cyclists.

“Alongside them will be the hugely experienced Michael Rogers and Mathew Hayman – riders who have performed at Grand Tour level on numerous occasions. We have a really exciting team and can’t wait for 11 September.”

Thomas, who first rode the race as part of the Great Britain squad in 2006 and in the colours of Barloworld for the following three seasons, promised British fans that the team planned to “put on a good show” on home roads as a means of thanking them for their support this year.

“The Tour of Britain is a great race and this will be my sixth appearance,” he said. “It is always exciting to ride in front of our home fans. The support we have had on the road all year has been amazing and has played a big part in the success we have achieved as a team. We can’t wait to put on a good show for them. It’s going to be a great week of racing.”

Swift, who last month completed his first Tour de France and who has won stages of races including he Tour Down Under and Tour of California, is returning to the race where he got his first pro win, prior to his controversial move from Katusha.

”I am looking forward to racing my home Tour again particularly as it is where I secured my first professional win in 2009,” said the Yorkshireman.

“There will be some tough opposition this year with a number of star riders appearing, but we have a really exciting team with a real depth to it. The team is riding well and full of confidence and we can’t wait to get going.”

Dowsett and Rogers, meanwhile, will be expected to figure strongly in the individual time trial that precedes the circuit race on the final day in London, while Hayman will use his experience to act as the squad’s road captain.

Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.