Olympic medallist Chris Froome leads Team Sky at Vuelta

Chris Froome
Chris Froome was runner-up to Bradley Wiggins in the Tour de France

Olympic bronze medallist Chris Froome will lead Team Sky at the Vuelta a Espana (Tour of Spain), which starts on Saturday, 18 August.

The 27-year-old Briton, who was second in last year's race, goes into the three-week contest in good form.

He was second in the Tour de France and third in the Olympic time trial.

"I'll be going into the race as team leader but that's not to say we don't have other guys who can be right up there," said Froome.

"If one of my team-mates shows that they're in a better place to win the race, then I'll happily work for them."

Tour de France and Olympic time trial champion Bradley Wiggins will not ride at the event in Spain, and is also set to miss the Tour of Denmark which starts on Wednesday, 22 August.

The 32-year-old has been given extra time off after his summer exertions, and no decison has been reached yet on when he will return to competitive action.

Froome was instrumental in helping Wiggins become the first Briton to win the Tour de France. The Kenyan-born rider eventually finished second, just over three minutes adrift.

Fellow Britons Ben Swift and Ian Stannard are joined in the nine-man Team Sky squad by Juan Antonio Flecha, Sergio Henao, Danny Pate, Richie Porte, Rigoberto Uran and Xabier Zandio.

Swift, who is the team's designated sprinter and goes into the race having won two stages at the recent Tour de Pologne (Tour of Poland), thinks Froome has a good chance of overall victory.

"He has been unbelievable this season," said Swift. "I'm sure he'll be able to continue that form and challenge for the top step on the podium."