Four Irishmen set for Giro d'Italia as Chris Froome targets another Grand Tour win

Chris Froome's Team Sky squad for the Giro d'Italia has been named as the Briton seeks a third successive Grand Tour win.

The 32-year-old's participation in the Tour of Italy, which begins in Jerusalem, Israel on May 4 and concludes in Rome on May 27, is under scrutiny.

Froome is seeking to prove his innocence over an adverse finding for elevated levels of salbutamol at last year's La Vuelta.

As the asthma medication is a specified substance, he can continue racing.

Froome, who denies wrongdoing, faces a ban if he cannot explain the readings and a ruling in the case is widely expected in June.

Froome won a fourth Tour de France last July and became the first British winner of the Tour of Spain last September.

He is seeking to add the Giro's pink jersey to his list of achievements and become the reigning champion in all three of cycling's Grand Tours at the same time.

Organisers RCS Sport on Tuesday announced Froome would be joined in Team Sky's eight-rider squad by Vasil Kiryienka of Belarus, Germany's Christian Knees and Colombia's Sergio Henao - all of whom helped Froome win the Tour last July.

Ireland's Philip Deignan, Wout Poels of Holland, Spain's David de la Cruz and Salvatore Puccio of Italy have also been named in Team Sky's provisional line-up for the 101st edition of the race.

"The Giro is a whole new challenge for me and a new motivation for me too," Froome said on after finishing fourth at the Tour of the Alps last week.

"It's a huge challenge to target the Giro d'Italia after winning the Tour and Vuelta last year and it's a huge motivation for me to go for my third consecutive Grand Tour win."

Three other Irishmen are poised to join Deignan in the race: Nicolas Roche (BMC Racing), Sam Bennett (Bora-Hansgrohe) and Ryan Mullen (Trek-Segafredo).

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