Team Sky Announces Roster for Vuelta a Espana 2014
Team Sky's line-up for the 2014 Vuelta a Espana, which begins with a team time trial in Jerez de la Frontera on August 23, is headlined by Chris Froome and includes riders from six nations.
Froome, who was forced to abandon last month's Tour de France due to injuries and confusion caused by crashes, will make his return to racing in a team that includes fellow Brits Peter Kennaugh and Luke Rowe.
The nine-man 2014 Tour of Spain line-up is drawn from six different nations and also includes Philip Deignan, Mikel Nieve, Vasil Kiryienka, Kanstantsin Siutsou, Christian Knees and Dario Cataldo.
Announcing Team Sky's Vuelta a España line-up, Team Principal Dave Brailsford said "This year’s Vuelta is a great opportunity for us to get back to Grand Tour racing and I’m delighted that we’ll go there with a strong team that’s very capable of performing well."
"Chris Froome will be our team leader and it’s great to have him back on the bike and focused on the challenge ahead. He was obviously very disappointed after having to withdraw from the Tour de France, but Chris has recovered and trained well since the injury. He’s now more determined than ever to get back to what he does best – riding Grand Tours."
"Chris is joined in the line-up by Peter Kennaugh and Luke Rowe, demonstrating once again the depth of British talent we have in the squad as they are both capable of making a big impact at the Vuelta. Philip Deignan and Mikel Nieve both race their second Grand Tours of the season and will add real quality in the mountains, with Dario Cataldo adding all-round ability to the team.
"Experience and expertise are vital components when selecting any successful team and Chris has three hugely experienced riders alongside him in Christian Knees, Kanstantsin Siutsou and Vasil Kiryienka. Together they have raced 36 Grand Tours and that adds a huge amount of value to the team.
"We’re all excited, focused and ready to get started."
Team leader Chris Froome said: "This is exactly the sort of challenge that I need after the disappointment of withdrawing from the Tour de France. You can’t dwell on disappointment, you have to move on quickly to next thing and the Vuelta has become the perfect race for me to focus on.
"I’ve always really enjoyed racing at the Vuelta, it’s a tough race but a great opportunity for the whole team. I know that the level of competition will be incredibly high this year, but we've got a strong line up so we hope to be as competitive as possible."
"I’m really pleased with how my recovery has gone since the Tour, I’ve been training hard and the support team are pleased with my progress. I'm a little bit light on racing days this year so getting a Grand Tour under my belt will not only help me now, but it will also help my preparation for next year.
"Going for the win will certainly be tough, but we’ll give it everything we’ve got."
Team Sky Pro Cycling line-up for the 2014 Vuelta a España:
Christopher Froome (United Kingdom, 29)
Chris heads into the Vuelta highly motivated after crashes and subsequent fractures to his wrist and hand brought an end to