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Team Sky will bring a solid team to the Vuelta a España, with Thomas Löfkvist and Simon Gerrans leading the way for the British-backed squad.
Gerrans will be back in action after breaking his arm during the Tour de France while Juan Antonio Flecha, the popular Spanish classics specialist, will be looking for a stage victory.
The British squad is the first to reveal its official nine-man lineup for the season’s final grand tour.
South African John-Lee Augustyn, Finland’s Kjell Carlström, Norway’s Lars-Petter Nordhaug and British trio Peter Kennaugh, Ian Stannard and Ben Swift complete the line-up.
“Following Thomas Löfkvist’s performance at the Tour de France he’ll go in as our GC rider but we’ll also be heading to the Vuelta with a stage-win mentality,” said Team Principal Dave Brailsford in a team release. “Simon Gerrans is a key stage winner – that’s his forte and how he made his name. Unfortunately he had to drop out of the Tour because of injury so he wants to get out there in Spain and try and search out some stage wins. And the team as a whole will be on the front foot, we want to be attacking. It’s a good opportunity for all the guys – we’ll choose our days and the stages to take the race on.”
Gerrans, the first Australian to win stages at all three Grand Tours, admits the lure of the Vuelta gave him added impetus in his recovery from his Tour de France injuries. He returns to action at the Tour du Limousin next week and is relishing being part of Team Sky’s first appearance in the Vuelta.
“It’s a big, big race and it’s given me a real focus for the last part of the year,” Gerrans said in a team release. “We’ve got a strong team to go for stage wins and get in the crucial breaks. Pretty much everyone on the team is capable of doing that if and when the opportunity arises.”