Cycling: Froome to rely on balanced Team Sky for Tour de France success

PARIS (REUTERS) - Chris Froome will be backed by a balanced Team Sky as the Briton challenges for a maiden Tour de France title, the British outfit said on Thursday.

Froome, the overwhelming favourite to succeed team-mate and compatriot Bradley Wiggins as Tour winner, will rely on Australian Richie Porte, who has proven this season that he could even be an overall contender should anything happen to his team leader.

Wiggins was ruled out of selection for health reasons last month.

Froome, who is expected to have the upper hand in the time trials in the race which starts in Corsica on June 29, should be able to rely on a few big engines to set the tempo in the mountains.

His allies include team pursuit Olympic champions Peter Kennaugh and Geraint Thomas of Britain.

Team Sky: Chris Froome (Britain), Richie Porte (Australia), Edvald Boasson-Hagen (Norway), Peter Kennaugh (Britain), Vasil Kiryienka (Belarus), David Lopez (Spain), Kanstantin Siutsou (Belarus), Ian Stannard (Britain), Geraint Thomas (Britain).