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"We’ve selected a strong squad for the Vuelta that has the right blend of talent and experience to support Chris Froome through the tough three weeks ahead."

Photo: A.S.O.

CHRIS FROOME

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CHRISTIAN KNEES

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GERAINT THOMAS

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IAN BOSWELL

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MIKEL NIEVE

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NICOLAS ROCHE

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SALVATORE PUCCIO

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SERGIO LUIS HENAO

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TEAM SKY

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VASIL KIRYENKA

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VUELTA A ESPAÑA

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17.08.2015 @ 14:33 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Team Sky has announced its nine man line-up for the 70th edition of the Vuelta a España, starting in Puerto Banús on Saturday 22 August.

 

2015 Tour de France winner Chris Froome will lead the team for the final Grand Tour of the season alongside Sergio Henao, Mikel Nieve, Vasil Kiryienka, Christian Knees, Ian Boswell, Salvatore Puccio, Nicolas Roche and Geraint Thomas.

 

Announcing the Vuelta a España squad, Team Principal Dave Brailsford said: "It’s been an unforgettable summer for us after winning the Tour de France for the third time, but it’s important to move on quickly, realign our goals and focus on the new challenges ahead.

 

"We’ve selected a strong squad for the Vuelta that has the right blend of talent and experience to support Chris Froome through the tough three weeks ahead."

 

Team leader Chris Froome said: "I have great memories from this race so I’m pleased to be back. I’ve had a good rest after the Tour and now I’m ready for my next challenge.

 

"It will certainly be a very competitive race given the strong field – which will be great for the fans to watch. The competition will be tough and this is bike racing so anything can happen, but we have an excellent team and we’re ready to get the race started."

 

The Team Sky squad for the 2015 Vuelta a España:

 

Chris Froome – age 30 – Great Britain

Returning to action following a historic second Tour de France victory, Froome will be looking to end his year on a high in Spain. Twice a runner-up at the Vuelta, the Brit is no stranger to the demanding Spanish test. After reaffirming his credentials as the best stage racer in the world, Froome will hope to continue his outstanding recent record in Grand Tours he's completed.

 

Sergio Henao – age 27 – Colombia

An exceptional climbing talent, Henao returns to Grand Tour action 14 months after a serious knee injury threatened his career. The Colombian has impressed greatly this season, taking a podium finish overall at the Tour of California, as well as stints in the race lead at the Tours of the Basque Country and Poland. He will provide valuable mountain support in his fifth Grand Tour.

 

Mikel Nieve – age 31 – Spain

One of the best pure climbers around, Nieve's first pro victory came at the Vuelta in 2010 with a memorable stage win. The Basque rider has competed in four of the last five editions of the race and will be relishing the chance to perform in front of his home fans. Second place at the Tour of Slovenia, plus a strong recent outing at the Tour of Poland, show a rider in form.

 

Vasil Kiryienka – age 34 – Belarus

Lining up for a 15th Grand Tour and a fifth appearance at the Vuelta, Kiryienka has supported Froome in each of his last two attempts at the race, as well as Tour de France victory in 2013. The Belarusian is a feared presence in the peloton, capable of setting a relentless, grinding pace on both the flat and the climbs. He's also a time trial specialist, as shown by his stage win at this year's Giro.

 

Christian Knees – age 34 – Germany

An experienced and assured presence, Knees has seen it all during 10 years spent competing at the highest level of cycling. The former German national champion is an accomplished domestique, equally happy pushing a tempo on climbs or working hard in the cross-winds and tense flat stages. Recent experience of the Vuelta makes him a valuable member of the team.

 

Ian Boswell – age 24 – United States

The young American makes his Grand Tour debut after a season which has seen him come of age in the WorldTour peloton. Part of winning teams at the Volta ao Algarve, Giro del Trentino, Tour de Yorkshire and Criterium du Dauphine in 2015, Boswell has impressed greatly on the climbs. Seventh overall at the Tour of California showed that Boswell can also race up front at the highest level.

 

Salvatore Puccio – age 25 – Italy

Improving with each passing season, the Italian gets set for a second appearance at the Vuelta with a valuable team role to play. With impressive experience despite his young age, Puccio had ridden all five of cycling's monument classics by just his second year as a pro. Puccio has the punch to help on the flat, and is increasingly comfortable setting a pace on the climbs.

 

Nicolas Roche – age 31 – Ireland

The second of three riders to attempt the Tour-Vuelta double this year, Roche has excelled at the Spanish Grand Tour in the past. With a fifth and a seventh place overall finish to his name, as well as a stage win in 2013, the Irishman has the climbing credentials to race at the very front. That, in addition to 14 Grand Tour starts, makes him a significant asset to any team.

 

Geraint Thomas – age 29 – Great Britain

One of the most accomplished all-round talents in the sport, Thomas gets set to make his Vuelta debut after demonstrating the best form of his career. Whether tearing up the spring classics or riding with elite GC contenders in the mountains, Thomas can do it all. The Welshman rode as high as fourth at the Tour de France in July and was invaluable in supporting Froome's victory. 

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