By Andrew Hood
Teams are already releasing preliminary start lists for the upcoming Vuelta a España (August 29-September 20) and Rabobank will bring a strong team with sights on overall victory and stage wins.
The Dutch outfit released 10 names for the Spanish tour and will look to Robert Gesink, who crashed out of the Tour de France with a fractured wrist in stage 5, to take aim for the final podium.
Another name to watch will be Lars Boom, who will be making his grand tour debut. The talented Dutch rider won the national time trial title and the world cyclo-cross title in 2008. The team scored a win at the Giro d’Italia with the overall victory of Denis Menchov. Menchov, a two-time Vuelta winner, will not be competing in the Spanish tour this year.
Others expected to start include the Spanish tandem of Oscar Freire and Juan Manuel Garate, the latter won the stage up Mont Ventoux at the Tour. Freire, meanwhile, went winless at the Tour and will be hoping the Vuelta can get him on track for the world championships.
Others include Dutch riders Koos Moerenhout, Tom Leezer, Bram Tankink and Pieter Weening, Colombian Mauricio Ardila and German rider Paul Martens.
The final selection will be made after the Tour du Limousin (August 18-21).