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Froome to miss British Championships

Chris Froome will miss the forthcoming British Championships as he prepares to defend the Tour de France title.

Froome won the Tour in 2013 and 2015 and is aiming for a third triumph in the race, which begins on July 2.

The 31-year-old also has his sights set on Olympic gold in the road race in Rio in August.

Geraint Thomas, likely to be a key lieutenant for Froome in France, will also be absent from the June 26 event in Britain.

But their Team Sky colleagues Ian Stannard, Luke Rowe and Ben Swift are in the long list for the race which British Cycling announced on Tuesday.

Mark Cavendish is among those due to compete in Stockton-on-Tees later this month, but defending champion Pete Kennaugh is out with a broken collarbone.

Cavendish is included in the initial entry list as he prepares for his main 2016 targets of winning the Tour’s yellow jersey in the opening stage and the Olympic omnium, if selected, on the track.

World champion and 2015 winner Lizzie Armitstead headlines a women’s field which includes Emma Pooley, who has come out of retirement to target the Rio Games.

Dame Sarah Storey, the 11-time Paralympic champion, and Pooley compete in the women’s time-trial, which takes place on June 23.

The favourite for the men’s race against the clock will be Alex Dowsett, who is targeting a record fifth win in the event.

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