Simon Yates, the 2018 Vuelta a España winner, will spearhead Team BikeExchange at this year’s race, with the British climber looking to take his second title and make up for abandoning the Giro d’Italia earlier in the season.
Yates will be joined by a a strong supporting cast that includes Lucas Hamiltion and Lawson Cradock, while Kaden Groves will lead the line in the sprint stages in what will be his grand tour debut.
“I’m looking forward to the Vuelta this year, of course I have great memories from the race after the win in 2018, so it is always special to return. It is going to be a really hard edition and starting with a TTT, but we have a really strong team and I think we can get the tour off to a good start with this stage in particular and in general with the strength in the team line-up that we have,” Yates said.
“After the Giro I had time to recover and re-build and it was good to start back racing again in Castilla y Leon and San Sebastián, so I am feeling ready for the Vuelta now. There’s a lot of climbing, especially in northern Spain and in general, it looks like a really hard and challenging course. We are going there to win, the team has had a great season so far, so the morale is high, and we are all motivated to finish the season off well with this last grand tour.”
The team won two stages at the Tour de France through Michael Matthews and Dylan Groenewegan, and although both riders are missing from the Vuelta, general manager Brent Copeland is still expecting a competitive outing from the team that has been selected.
“We head to the third and final grand tour of the season with high motivation after enjoying a successful season so far with stage wins in both the Giro and the Tour de France,” he said.
“For the Vuelta we have a fairly young team with some riders making their Grand Tour debuts and it is exciting for us as an organisation to see what they can do. With great options to challenge for stage wins in the climbs and on the flat, we believe we have put together a really strong team that is very diverse and can achieve a lot in this Spanish Tour.”
Team BikeExchange for the Vuelta a España: Simon Yates, Kaden Groves, Luke Durbridge, Michael Hepburn, Lawson Craddock, Lucas Hamilton, Kelland O’Brien, and Callum Scotson