Vuelta Roster Update

It is only a matter of days until the start of this year’s final grand tour the Vuelta a España and the majority of teams have confirmed their rosters for the three week tour of Spain. The following is a list of those teams which have announced their lineups, with the remaining few set to do the same by the eve of the race’s start. 

 

Ag2r La Mondiale

 

Carlos Betancur (Col)
Maxime Bouet (Fra)
Hubert Dupont (Fra)
Damien Gaudin (Fra)
Patrick Gretsch (Ger)
Yauheni Hutarovich (Blr)
Lloyd Mondory (Fra)
Rinaldo Nocentini (Ita)
Sébastien Turgot (Fra)

The French outfit have finally tracked down their elusive GC man Betancur, who will race for the first time since a disappointing showing at Vuelta a Burgos.

 

Astana

 

Fabio Aru (Ita)
Mikel Landa (Spa)
Tanel Kangert (Est)
Paolo Tiralongo (Ita)
Daniil Fominykh (Kaz)
Andrea Guardini (Ita)
Jacopo Guarnieri (Ita)
Andrey Zeits (Kaz)
Alexey Lutsenko (Kaz)

This year’s Giro third placed rider, Fabio Aru, will lead Astana in their final grand tour of the year. A big task for the 24 year old Sardinian with a questionable team for support.

 

Belkin

 

Stef Clement (Ned)
Laurens ten Dam (Ned)
Robert Gesink (Ned)
Moreno Hofland (Ned)
Martijn Keizer (Ned)
Wilco Kelderman (Ned)
Paul Martens (Ger)
Maarten Tjallingii (Ned)
Robert Wagner (Ger)

Belkin have decided upon a team which has an immense depth of talent and experience and it would be no surprise should they leave Spain with a stage win or two; though GC hopes could be a step beyond them.

 

BMC

 

Rohan Dennis (Aus)
Cadel Evans (Aus)
Philippe Gilbert (Bel)
Steve Morabito (Swi)
Dominik Nerz (Ger)
Manuel Quinziato (Ita)
Samuel Sánchez (Spa)
Larry Warbasse (USA)
Danilo Wyss (Swi)

Another strong squad; BMC have wasted no time in sending their latest acquisition from Garmin (Rohan Dennis) straight into the deep end amongst a team including Gilbert, Evans and Sánchez.

 

Cannondale

 

Peter Sagan (Svk)
George Bennett (Nzl)
Maciej Bodnar (Pol)
Guillaume Boivin (Can)
Damiano Caruso (Ita)
Alessandro De Marchi (Ita)
Oscar Gatto (Ita)
Matthias Krizek (Aut)
Paolo Longo Borghini (Ita)

This will be the last grand tour we see Cannondale competing in their current guise before they merge with Garmin, if rumours are true. However, expect them to go out with a bang as Peter Sagan and the ever aggressive Alessandro De Marchi will be animating the racing for them.

FDJ.fr

Nacer Bouhanni (Fra)
Kenny Elissonde (Fra)
Murilo Antonio Fischer (Bra)
Johan Le Bon (Fra)
Laurent Mangel (Fra)
Cédric Pineau (Fra)
Thibaut Pinot (Fra)
Anthony Roux (Fra)
Geoffrey Soupe (Fra)

 

Garmin-Sharp

Daniel Martin (Ire)
Ryder Hesjedal (Can)
Andrew Talansky (USA)
Nate Brown (USA)
Andre Cardoso (Por)
Koldo Fernandez (Esp)
Nathan Haas (Aus)
David Millar (GBr)
Johan Vansummeren (Bel)

Since a disastrous start to the Giro in Ireland, Dan Martin shifted his season’s goals to the Vuelta and World Championships and it could well turn out great. The parcours suit Martin’s style more than a typical Tour de France route, so expect a stage win and a possible top 10 finish if he times his attacks right. Andrew Talansky was a broken man during Le Tour and it seems incredible that he has returned so quickly for more of the same, but getting back in the saddle to prove his form in Spain will be huge motivation. Ryder Hesjedal took over the reins from Martin at the Giro after his huge crash and did well to steady the ship and secure Garmin a placing in the top ten GC. David Millar’s last hurrah seems to have finally got off the ground as he supports the team at his least grand tour – no doubt he will sneak into a suicidal break too.

 

IAM Cycling

Marcel Aregger (Swi)
Jonathan Fumeaux (Swi)
Sébastien Hinault (Fra)
Dominic Klemme (Ger)
Pirmin Lang (Swi)
Matteo Pelucchi (Ita)
Vicente Reynes (Esp)
Aleksejs Saramotins (Lat)
Johann Tschopp (Swi)

 

Lampre-Merida

 

Valerio Conti (Ita)
Winner Anacona (Col)
Damiano Cunego (Ita)
Elia Favilli (Ita)
Roberto Ferrari (Ita)
Przemyslaw Niemiec (Pol)
Filippo Pozzato (Ita)
Maximiliano Richeze (Arg)
Josè Serpa (Col)

Boasting the Vuelta’s reigning champion Chris Horner, attention was drawn to the 42 year old’s attempts to defend his title, but he has since withdrawn due to contravening MPCC regulations with low cortisol readings. His replacement Valerio Conti will wear the number one dossard vacated by Horner but will certainly not be geared towards the same role. The rest of the team look set to be present in some lumpy breakaway days in the mountains, while Przemyslaw Niemiec maybe their best bet for a solid general classification finish.

 

 

Lotto Belisol

Jurgen V/d Broeck (Bel)
Sander Armée (Bel)
Vegard Breen (Nor)
Bart de Clercq (Bel)
Jens Debusschere (Bel)
Adam Hansen (Aus)
Gregory Henderson (Aus)
Pim Ligthart (Nld)
Maxime Monfort (Bel)

 

Movistar

 

Nairo Quintana (Col)
Andrey Amador (Crc)
Jonathan Castroviejo (Spa)
Imanol Erviti (Spa)
José Herrada (Spa)
Gorka Izagirre (Spa)
Adriano Malori (Ita)
Javi Moreno (Spa)
Alejandro Valverde (Spa)

With Nairo Quintana and Alejandro Valverde present amongst their ranks, Movistar seem set to try and win their national tour. A predominantly Spanish team with great depth, it will also be interesting to see how co-leadership functions between Quintana and Valverde.

 

OPQS

 

Tom Boonen (Bel)
Gianluca Brambilla (Ita)
Nikolas Maes (Bel)
Tony Martin (Ger)
Wout Poels (Ned)
Pieter Serry (Bel)
Rigoberto Uran (Col)
Martin Velits (Svk)
Carlos Verona (Spa)

It seems like a century since we last saw Tom Boonen contesting the sprint finish of a grand tour and it will be a happy sight to see him again at last. Tony Martin has been on imperious form recently and will be on the look out for more stage wins, while Rigoberto Uran leads their classification hopes after a second place at this year’s Giro.

 

Orica-GreenEdge

 

Sam Bewley (Nzl)
Esteban Chaves (Col)
Simon Clarke (Aus)
Mitch Docker (Aus)
Brett Lancaster (Aus)
Michael Matthews (Aus)
Cameron Meyer (Aus)
Ivan Santaromita (Ita)
Adam Yates (Gbr)

Hard to gauge the ambitions of this squad, but the big news is the inclusion of Adam Yates for his grand tour debut. His wins at Tour of Turkey and GP Industria & Artigianato; while also finishing 6th in Critérium du Dauphiné show great promise for the Vuelta.

Europcar

 

Natnael Berhane (Eri)
Jérôme Cousin (Fra)
Dan Craven (Nam)
Jimmy Engoulvent (Fra)
Vincent Jérôme (Fra)
Yannick Martinez (Fra)
Maxime Mederel (Fra)
Bryan Nauleau (Fra)
Romain Sicard (Fra)

Another mixed bag of riders who are likely to spend a few hours out front in the breakaway for the most part. An interesting note being the confirmation of Namibia’s Dan Craven amongst the roster, expect more information on his fantastic story at SpokenForks in the coming days.

 

Giant-Shimano

 

Nikias Arndt (Ger)
Warren Barguil (Fra)
Lawson Craddock (USA)
John Degenkolb (Ger)
Johannes Fröhlinger (Ger)
Chad Haga (USA)
Koen De Kort (Ned)
Tobias Ludvigsson (Swe)
Ramon Sinkeldam (Ned)

Warren Barguil will offer viewers another chance to gauge his potential as France’s next big hope of having a Frenchman atop the podium in Paris sometime soon. Lawson Craddock is another youngster hotly tipped since making the jump to the WorldTour, so American fans will be eagerly watching his progress. No doubt John Degenkolb will do his best to steal a stage win from a selected bunch finished too.

 

Katusha

 

Joaquim Rodriguez (Spa)
Giampaolo Caruso (Ita)
Sergei Chernetckii (Rus)
Alexander Kolobnev (Rus)
Dmitriy Kozonchuk (Rus)
Alberto Losada (Spa)
Daniel Moreno (Spa)
Yuri Trofimov (Rus)
Eduard Vorganov (Rus)

Joaquim Rodriquez is certainly one of the most successful riders at the Vuelta who is competing this year, which means there is no doubt he shall be relishing the chance to add to his palmarès here.

 

Sky

 

Chris Froome (GBr)
Dario Cataldo (Ita)
Philip Deignan (Irl)
Peter Kennaugh (GBr)
Vasil Kiryienka (Blr)
Christian Knees (Ger)
Mikel Nieve (Spa)
Luke Rowe (GBr)
Kanstantsin Siutsou (Blr)

Certainly a team which will attract a lot of attention from the press due to its immense strength built around leader Christopher Froome. Expect him to go for the overall win to compensate for a disastrous Tour de France, though it would be a surprise if all trepidation of crashing has left him since abandoning on the cobbles. Phillip Deignan, Peter Kennaugh and Luke Rowe could all cause a few upsets in terms of sneaking a win under their belts, but regardless of personal ambition; this may be the strongest team here.

 

Tinkoff-Saxo

 

Alberto Contador (Spa)
Daniele Bennati (Ita)
Jesus Hernandez (Spa)
Sergio Paulinho (Por)
Ivan Rovny (Rus)
Chris Anker Sørensen (Den)
Matteo Tosatto (Ita)
Michael Valgren (Den)
Oliver Zaugg (Swi)

The fact Alberto Contador is riding after breaking his leg is amazing, let alone the fact he has chosen the Vuelta to make his surprise return. It seems doubtful that he would be willing to rush recovering if he did not think that he has enough form right now to be competitive at his home tour. The real doubts appear when analysing the squad, which may leave Contador short on days when he needs protecting.

 

Trek Factory Racing

 

Fabian Cancellara (Swi)
Julián Arredondo (Col)
Haimar Zubeldia (Spa)
Kristof Vandewalle (Bel)
Bob Jungels (Lux)
Jasper Stuyven (Bel)
Yaroslav Popovych (Ukr)
Jesse Sergent (NZl)
Fabio Felline (Ita)

Another diverse mix of riders returning after a mid-season break (Fabian Cancellara), a top ten Tour de France finish (Haimar Zubeldia) and making a grand tour debut (Bob Jungels). Julián Arredondo might be their best man for a mountain top victory having won the Mountains Classification earlier this year at the Giro.

 

Caja Rural – Seguros RGA


Luis León Sánchez (Esp)
Javier Aramendia (Esp)
David Arroyo (Esp)
Pello Bilbao (Esp)
Karol Domagalski (Pol)
Francesco Lasca (Ita)
Guillermo Lluís Mas (Esp)
Antonio Piedra (Esp)
Amets Txurruka (Esp)

 

Cofidis

 

Yoann Bagot (Fra)
Jérôme Coppel (Fra)
Romain Hardy (Fra)
Gert Jõeäär (Est)
Christophe Le Mevel (Fra)
Guillaume Levarlet (Fra)
Luis Ángel Maté (Spa)
Daniel Navarro (Spa)
Romain Zingle (Bel)

Daniel Navarro will be looking to impress at his home nation’s tour, while the likes of Christophe Le Mevel and Jérôme Coppel will be wanting to impress ahead of the impending shake up at Cofidis.

 

MTN-Qhubeka

 

Gerald Ciolek (Ger)
Jacques Janse van Rensburg (RSA)
Merhawi Kudus (Eri)
Louis Meintjes (RSA)
Sergio Pardilla (Spa)
Kristian Sbaraglia (Ita)
Daniel Teklehaimanot (Eri)
Jay Thomson (RSA)
Jaco Venter (RSA)

The first African team to ride a grand tour since Barloworld folded, MTN-Qhubeka will be relying on Gerald Ciolek, Jacques Janse van Rensburg and Daniel Teklehaimanot to justify their wild card inclusion.

 

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