Tour de France: Rowe 'deserves' Team Sky spot - Backstedt
Former Tour de France stage winner Magnus Backstedt believes Luke Rowe should be included in Team Sky's squad for this year's race.
Team Sky say the 11-man shortlist for Le Tour published on their website on Tuesday is not the final squad.
Backstedt, the first Swede to win a Tour stage, believes Rowe is worthy of inclusion in the nine-man team.
"I would like to see Luke get the selection. He deserves it," Backstedt said.
"They need a guy like him, who's not afraid of jumping on the front at any given point."
The opening stage of the Tour de France is on 4 July in Utrecht with the 21st and final stage on 26 July.
If Rowe and team-mate Geraint Thomas are selected in Team Sky's squad it would be the first time two Welshmen would compete on the Tour.
Thomas said his fellow Cardiff-born rider is finally fulfilling his potential, with Backstedt of the view that Rowe has improved over recent seasons.
"He's proven to be a very solid rider for the team, not only on the flatter roads but he's climbing very well," Backstedt told BBC Radio Wales Sport.
"Luke should get the opportunity to ride a Tour and I think he would be able to do a very good job."