Tour de France 2015: Luke Rowe ecstatic at Tour selection

Luke Rowe
Luke Rowe finished fourth at the 2015 British road race championships

Wales' Luke Rowe says he is delighted at being named as part of Team Sky's line-up for the 2015 Tour de France.

He joins fellow countryman Geraint Thomas in the event, meaning Wales has two representatives in the race for the first time.

"I'm over the moon, I suppose," said the 25-year-old from Cardiff.

"All season it's been the big aim for me to get a place in the team and to finally be secure and be representing that nine is a big honour."

Team Sky principal Sir Dave Brailsford described fellow Welshman Rowe as a "powerhouse" whose efforts will be crucial during the initial stages as Chris Froome aims to repeat his 2013 winning effort.

Luke Rowe (left) and Geraint Thomas (right)
Luke Rowe (left) and Geraint Thomas (right) were born and raised in Cardiff

"He'll be a key member of the team in the early stages dealing with crosswinds," said Brailsford.

"He's a powerhouse and he and Ian Stannard will have a big job looking after the rest of the guys."

Rowe will become only the third Welshman to take part in the Tour after Thomas and their 1968 and 1969 predecessor Colin Lewis.

"To be in that select group and not only be the third Welsh rider, me and Geraint go in - two Welsh riders in the biggest sporting event in the world.

"I've known 'G' since we were little kids riding around Maindy track in Cardiff.

"Who'd have thought all those years ago, you know? We both dreamed of doing this and now we'll hopefully make history together.

"It's pretty special."

Rowe believes he and his colleagues can help Froome win, but admits there will be be times when the tour's demands will be "brutal".

"All season you say 'I want to get selected for the tour' and then you finally make the cut and you look through the stages and… suddenly it hits home how hard that race is," said Rowe.

"I'm on cloud nine at the moment. I'm really excited to go, but I'm sure after a few days I'll be thinking 'why the hell did I want to be selected for this, it's brutal'.

"If nine of us go there and eight of us do everything we can, every single day to do everything we can for Froomey, I think we can go there and we can win... and make history."

Saturday's opening stage will see the riders take part in an individual time trial around the Dutch city of Utrecht.

The race ends on Sunday, 26 July in Paris.

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