Vuelta a Espana

Froome will lead Sky to the Vuelta a España; Argos brings attackers

Urán, Porte, Swift also head to Spain for Tour de France-winning British squad

Runner-up at the Tour de France and the 2011 Vuelta a España, Chris Froome (Sky) is headed back to Spain this month to lead Sky into the final grand tour of the season.

“It’s always been my plan to ride the Vuelta,” said Froome. “I’ll be going into the race as team leader but that’s not to say we don’t have other guys who can be right up there on the GC. Rigoberto (Urán) and Sergio (Henao) both have huge potential, and Richie (Porte) is another guy who could shine.”

Joining Froome in the Sky roster for the Vuelta will be Juan Antonio Flecha, Sergio Henao, Danny Pate, Richie Porte, Ian Stannard, Ben Swift, Olympic silver medalist Rigoberto Urán and Xabier Zandio.

“We’ve got every base covered with this line up. We have Olympic medalists, amazing climbers, some really strong guys on the flat, and a very fast sprinter,” said Sky director Nicolas Portal. “Every rider knows their role and they will need to be alert from the very first stage as the level of competition is so high.

“With Froomey, we saw how he improved as the Tour de France went on and he will be very strong here again. This race is a major goal for him and we have the team to give him the best possible chance of success.”

Froome, a Kenyan-born Briton and Olympic time trial silver medalist in London, knows as well as anyone that the plan in the bus can get sideways on the road. He vaulted over teammate Bradley Wiggins, who wore the leader’s jersey at the time, in the 2011 Vuelta when the Londoner found difficulty on the Angliru climb. The Sky men went on to finish second and third overall.

“I’m going to do the best job I can and do whatever’s required of me from the team,” said Froome. “Initially I’ll be riding for the GC, but if one of my teammates shows that they’re in a better place to win the race then I’ll happily work for them. We’re sending a first-rate squad and it should be a really exciting race.”

Sky for the 2012 Vuelta a España
Chris Froome (GBR)
Juan Antonio Flecha (SPA)
Sergio Henao (COL)
Danny Pate (USA)
Richie Porte (AUS)
Ian Stannard (GBR)
Ben Swift (GBR)
Rigoberto Urán (COL)
Xabier Zandio (SPA)

Argos-Shimano brings attackers to Spain

Dutch squad Argos-Shimano will make its Vuelta debut with a number of rider aiming for stage wins, including John Degenkolb and Koen de Kort.

Argos-Shimano for the 2012 Veulta a España
John Degenkolb (GER)
Simon Geschke (GER)
Johannes Fršhlinger (GER)
Alexandre Geniez (FRA)
Ji Cheng (CHI)
Yukihiro Doi (JAP)
Thierry Hupond (FRA)
Tom Dumoulin (NED)
Koen de Kort (NED)