Chris Froome’s Team Sky team-mates for the 2013 Tour de France

Chris Froome is Team Sky’s leader at the Tour this year. Here are some good reasons to support him. Other than that, you might like to know that he used to sell avocados off the back of his bike when he was eight and that he has a degree in economics.

His support riders feature some familiar faces and a few who you might not know. Here’s the lowdown on each of them.

Richie Porte

Last year, the Tasmanian was a mountain domestique tasked with leading Froome and Wiggins up to the point where they could take it through to the finish. This year, he earns a promotion to back-up rider – the role Froome had last year. In 2013, Porte has won Paris-Nice and finished second in Critérium Internationale and the Tour of the Basque Country. He used to be a lifeguard.

Edvald Boasson Hagen

Is he a sprinter? Is he a stage racer? Is he both? Is he neither? Is he a time-trialist, a domestique or what? Sometimes Boasson Hagen’s a bit of everything; at other times he falls between about nine different stools. Edvald says that the key to being a good cyclist is to ‘keep pedalling’.

Peter Kennaugh

Like Mark Cavendish, he’s from the Isle of Man. Unlike Mark Cavendish, he can cycle uphill. Part of Great Britain’s gold medal winning Team Pursuit team. Weighs about 10 stone when piss wet-through. He says one of his main interests is ‘watches’. I have no idea what that entails.

Vasil Kiryienka

Sky say the Belarusian boasts a ‘machine-like riding style’ which is presumably meant as a compliment, but actually makes him sound like some inhuman product of the old Eastern Bloc. This view is further supported by his answer when asked for an interesting fact about himself: “I have no special talents.”

David Lopez

New to Team Sky this year, Lopez is one of those riders who’s pretty strong all-round, but kind of faceless because he doesn’t really have a specialty. Studied industrial engineering, likes tuna and has driven the same car for the last 11 years.

Kanstantsin Siutsou

Siutsou broke his leg on stage three of last year’s Tour. Having weighed the leg’s normal contribution to his cycling, he opted to drop out rather than ride a couple of thousand miles using only the other one. Finished 37th at this year’s Giro and finished as high as ninth in that race in 2011.

Ian Stannard

The former British national champion is a big, rumbling ox of a cyclist. Stannard’s job is to lead the peloton on the flat.

Geraint Thomas

The multiple gold medal winner has mostly been falling off his bike this year. Maybe he’s not mastered changing gears after spending so much time on a track bike in 2012.