A Look at the Sprinters in the 2011 Vuelta a Espana

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08/21/2011| 0 comments
by Thomas A. Valentinsen
Mark Cavendish. Photo Fotoreporter Sirotti.
Mark Cavendish. Photo Fotoreporter Sirotti.

A Look at the Sprinters in the 2011 Vuelta a Espana

Roadcycling.com offer our readers a look at the major sprinters who are part of the 2011 Vuelta a Espana peloton.

Tour de France last month because of a crash which occurred in the first week of racing. Boonen realizes he's no longer as fast as the leading trio of sprinters, but he remains able to beat them occasionally as he did in the 2011 Tour of Qatar in February.

Daniele Bennati, 31, Team Leopard-Trek, 4 stage wins at the Vuelta:
Because of a fractured collarbone as the result of a crash in this year's Tour de Romandie, Italian Bennati skipped the Giro d'Italia this year. The Vuelta a Espana will be his first Grand Tour this year and his sprints will be a major area of focus for the Leopard-Trek team in the absence of the Schleck brothers, while still trying to secure Jakob Fuglsang a spot on the final podium. Bennati's got five wins under his belt so far this year, but he's still eager to obtain at least one highly prestigious victory. He may also turn out to be appointed captain of the Italian national team in the 2011 World Road Cycling Championships in Copenhagen.

Peter Sagan, 21, Team Liquigas-Cannondale, 0 Vuelta a Espana stage victories so far (first participation):
The talented and successful Slovakian recently won the Tour of Poland. He's a sprinter who can shine in undulating terrain. The 2011 Vuelta will be his first appearance in a Grand Tour. He has won eleven races so far this year, but he hasn't had the occasion to challenge the world's best sprinters yet. This fact will make his participation in the Vuelta a very interesting one.

Marcel Kittel, 23, Team Skil-Shimano, 0 Vuelta a Espana stage victories so far (first participation):
The Vuelta invitation handed to Team Skil-Shimano is appearing to be a smart decision by the Spanish race organizers as it results in the first start in a Grand Tour for the young German prodigy, who is the next best performer of the year so far in terms of wins, only beaten by Philippe Gilbert. His victorious and successful campaign started in stage 3 of The Tour de Langkawi in Malaysia in January and continued with an impressive four victories in the Four Days of Dunkirk race. He recently managed to win four stages of a race again. This time he did it in the Tour of Poland. Therefore, he's clearly a rider to keep a close eye on in the Vuelta.

In addition to the above seven sprint stars, Vuelta fans will also get the chance to follow other strong sprinters such as Taylor Phinney (Team BMC Racing), Oscar Freire (Team Rabobank), Juan Jose Haedo (Saxo Bank-SunGard), Matthew Goss (Team HTC-HighRoad), Heinrich Haussler (Garmin-Cervélo), Christopher Sutton (Team Sky), Lloyd Mondory (Ag2r-La Mondiale) and 22 year old Juan-Jose Lobato (Andalucia-Caja Granada) in the Vuelta.

Stay tuned to Roadcycling.com and Roadcycling.mobi during the Vuelta a Espana for extensive coverage of the race including video highlights from all stages of the Tour of Spain 2011.

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