Tom Scully is the latest Kiwi confirmed for the 2018 Tour de France, joining Patrick Bevin, Jack Bauer and Dion Smith on the startline next week.

This equals last year's record number of Kiwi riders in the three-week race.

All four will be deployed as workhorses in their respective teams for their general classification hopes and sprinters, but selection from wider team rosters to make the final cut is a major sign of talent and form.

Suiting up for a day in the rain. PhotoCredit: @ashleygruber

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Getting a ride in the Tour de France is considered the pinnacle of professional cycling.

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Whereas Smith's GC team-mate Guillaume Martin is a distant hope for the top place, the other three will be locked in an intriguing battle to support their team leaders.

And here we go #2018 #bmc #sophos #tagheuer

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Bevin's Australian BMC leader Richie Porte has high hopes this will finally be his year, after crashing out in 2017. Porte last month won the Tour of Switzerland. Jack Bauer will be working to support in-form Briton Adam Yates at Mitchelton-Scott and Scully will be in the service of the 2017 runner-up Rigoberto Uran of EF Education First-Drapac.

Smith, riding in his second consecutive Tour, is the one Kiwi most likely therefore to be let off the leash to try his luck at a stage win in a breakaway group. Bevin is an outside chance to briefly put on the leaders yellow jersey, depending on the outcome of the stage three team time trial.