Become a Member

Get access to more than 30 brands, premium video, exclusive content, events, mapping, and more.

Already have an account? Sign In

Become a Member

Get access to more than 30 brands, premium video, exclusive content, events, mapping, and more.

Already have an account? Sign In

Brands

Vuelta a Espana

Vuelta leaves Katusha, Fuji and LPR on sidelines

Twenty-one teams are heading to the Vuelta a España in late August, but not everyone is going to be happy. Among the major teams left on the sidelines for the season’s third grand tour are two ProTour squads, the Russian-backed Katusha and Spanish Fuji-Servetto teams, as well as the Italian continental standout, LPR. The Vuelta organization, which released its list of invitees Friday morning, included 16 of 18 ProTour teams among the starting lineup.

Don't miss a moment from Paris-Roubaix and Unbound Gravel, to the Giro d’Italia, Tour de France, Vuelta a España, and everything in between when you join Outside+.

By Andrew Hood

Di Luca made a big impression on the Giro, but it wasn't enough to earn his LPR team an invitation to the Vuelta.

Di Luca made a big impression on the Giro, but it wasn’t enough to earn his LPR team an invitation to the Vuelta.

Photo: Graham Watson

Twenty-one teams are heading to the Vuelta a España in late August, but not everyone is going to be happy.

Among the major teams left on the sidelines for the season’s third grand tour are two ProTour squads, the Russian-backed Katusha and Spanish Fuji-Servetto teams, as well as the Italian continental standout, LPR.

The Vuelta organization, which released its list of invitees Friday morning, included 16 of 18 ProTour teams among the starting lineup.

Among the five continental teams invited, three are from Spain – Andalucía-CajaSur, Contentpolis-Ampo and Xacobeo-Galicia – along with Dutch team Vancansoleil and the Canadian-sponsored Cervélo TestTeam.

American fans will be pleased, with Garmin-Slipstream earning its first Vuelta start and Columbia-Highroad back in the fold after skipping last year’s edition.

The Astana team of defending champion Alberto Contador and runner-up Levi Leipheimer is also invited, but it’s not confirmed if the pair will race the Vuelta.

Leipheimer already raced the Giro and is unlikely to race a third grand tour after competing in the Tour de France in July. Contador skipped defending his Giro title in May, but hasn’t confirmed whether he will be back at the Vuelta or not.

Race officials said 29 teams asked to participate in the 64th Vuelta, which is drawing special interest because the race will start in Holland on August 29 and include four stages across Holland, Germany and Belgium before transferring to Tarragona along the Mediterranean coast.

“We believe we can offer the Spanish and global fans a high-quality field, one that corresponds to the Vuelta as one of the stellar races in the world,” read a communiqué. “Based on the rules and agreements with the UCI, Unipublic reserves the right to modify this list if important circumstances so warrant, always keeping in mind the ethical responsibility of the participants and their sporting quality.”

Officials didn’t outline reasons for overlooking certain teams, but recent doping scandals at Katusha involving Christian Pfannberger and Antonio Colom probably didn’t help their chances.

Missing out on the Vuelta for the second year in a row will also be a big blow for the Fuji-Servetto team, struggling in the wake of the devastating doping positives of star riders Riccardo Riccò and Leonardo Piepoli during last year’s Tour de France.

Also disappointed will be Danilo Di Luca, fresh off second place overall at the Giro. His LPR team, which also includes Alessandro Petacchi, a winner of 19 career stages at the Vuelta, was also overlooked despite heavy lobbying from “the Killer.”

Teams for the 64th Vuelta a España (Aug. 29-Sept. 20)

  • • Ag2r-La Mondiale

  • • Andalucía-CajaSur

  • • Astana

  • • Bouygues Telecom

  • • Caisse d’Epargne

  • • Cervélo TestTeam

  • • Cofidis

  • • Contentpolis-Ampo

  • • Euskaltel-Euskadi

  • • FDJeux

  • • Garmin-Slipstream

  • • Lampre

  • • Liquigas

  • • Quick Step

  • • Rabobank

  • • Silence-Lotto

  • • Columbia-Highroad

  • • Milram

  • • Saxo Bank

  • • Vacansoleil

  • • Xacobeo-Galicia