Team Sky reveal strong team to support Chris Froome at Vuelta a España
Froome looking to become only the third rider to win both races in the same year
The runner-up in the Spanish Grand Tour in 2011, 2014, and 2016, Froome will be supported by an experienced team of domestiques with Mikel Nieve and Wout Poels likely to be his most crucial team-mates in the race’s mountainous terrain.
Aside from Froome, Nieve and German rider Christian Knees are the only two riders to travel to the Vuelta having ridden the 2017 Tour de France.
There is also a return for Ian Stannard, who missed out in July, but there is no space for Peter Kennaugh, who had been tipped to ride his final Grand Tour with Sky before departing for Bora-Hansgrohe at the end of the season.
Gianni Moscon will ride his first Grand Tour for Sky have ridden strongly in support of Mikel Landa at the Vuelta a Burgos, while 36-year-old David Lopez will be the most experienced domestique on the team as he takes to the start line for his 13th Grand Tour.
Completing the line-up are two more Italians, Salvatore Puccio and Diego Rosa, both of whom rode the Giro d’Italia in May before returning to stage racing at the recent Tour of Poland.
With the race, which starts in Nîmes on Saturday, now less than a week away, Chris Froome said that he was looking forward to taking on a race which has frustrated him in the past.
“It certainly feels as if I’ve got unfinished business with this race. I’ve finished second three times now, but I’ve got a good feeling about this year’s Vuelta,” Froome said.
“It feels like we’re on much more of a mission this year, and aiming for the Tour/Vuelta double this season has been a huge motivation.team
“I don’t think we’ve been to the Vuelta a Espana with a team as strong as we’ve got this year.”
As ever, the 2017 Vuelta a España features a mountainous parcous that packs nine summit finishes into 21 days of racing, and team principal Dave Brailsford is under no illusion about the challenge faced by the team.
“But we know from experience just how tough and competitive the Vuelta is as a race. This year is no different with one of the very hardest mountain top finishes on the Angliru on the penultimate stage,” Brailsford said.
“We go into the race with Chris supported by another group of very talented riders. It is great to have Wout Poels back after injury and it is an opportunity for him to put his mark on the season after a challenging year. Gianni Moscon will also be riding his first Grand Tour. He is an exciting talent with a lot to offer the team.
“I was very proud of how we rode the Tour this year – the teamwork and the way our riders supported each other was exceptional. This group go into the race with the same mindset and we will give them every support we can to help them succeed together.”
Team Sky line up for Vuelta a España