DECEUNINCK – QUICK-STEP - From Burgos to Santiago de Compostela over 3400 kilometers, bookended by individual time trials, comprising more than 40 classified climbs – including the Alto de Velefique, Pico Villuercas, Lagos de Covadonga and Alto D’El Gamoniteiru – but also several opportunities for the sprinters, this year’s Vuelta a España promises to deliver again plenty of excitement and unforgettable moments.
Back in 2019, clad in the National Champion Jersey he had won that summer, Fabio Jakobsen made his Grand Tour at La Vuelta and it was a memorable one, as the Dutchman won two stages, in El Puig and Madrid. The soon to be 25-year-old sprinter, victorious in twenty races since turning pro with the Wolfpack, is returning to the Spanish Grand Tour and will rely on a strong lead-out train consisting of Czech ITT Champion Josef Cerny, Florian Sénéchal and Bert Van Lerberghe.
After coming close to a maiden Grand Tour top 10 overall two years ago, James Knox will feature again on Deceuninck – Quick-Step’s squad for the last three-week race of the season, which is set to include Zdenek Stybar, a stage winner at the race back in 2013, but also Andrea Bagioli and Grand Tour debutant Mauri Vansevenant, two of the team’s 15 riders to have scored a win so far this season.
“La Vuelta is La Vuelta, one of the hardest races of the season, but we are confident, as we have a strong team capable of fighting for a good result on almost all stages. Fabio is back in a Grand Tour after two years and comes at the start following a very good Tour de Wallonie and supported by a solid sprint train, consisting of Josef, Florian and Bert, all riders who have shown their quality in the past. Zdenek and Josef are both capable of seizing the opportunity if it will present itself, while James, Mauri and Andrea can try and do something in the mountains stages, where they have what it takes to go for a nice result”, explained Deceuninck – Quick-Step sports director Wilfried Peeters.
La Vuelta ciclista a España (ESP) 2.UWT14.08–05.09
Riders: Andrea Bagioli (Ita), Josef Cerny (Cze), Fabio Jakobsen (Ned), James Knox (Gbr), Florian Sénéchal (Fra), Zdenek Stybar (Cze), Bert Van Lerberghe (Bel), Mauri Vansevenant (Bel).
Sports Director Davide Bramati (Ita), Klaas Lodewyck (Bel), Wilfried Peeters (Bel)
UAE TEAM EMIRATES - L’UAE Team Emirates si appresta a partecipare al terzo e ultimo Grande Giro della stagione 2021, ovvero la Vuelta Espana, gara che scatterà da Burgos il 14 agosto per terminare il 5 settembre a Santiago de Compostela.
Le 21 tappe presenteranno una buona varietà di tipologie di percorso, con due cronometro, 9 arrivi in salita e numerose frazioni adatte ai velocisti.
Il beniamino di casa David De La Cruz ha già ottenuto un 7° posto nell’edizione 2020 della corsa spagnola e giunge all’appuntamento dopo una ben augurante 5^posizione nella classifica finale della Vuelta Burgos. Ci sarà anche Rafal Majka, già a podio nella Vuelta Espana 2015: il polacco cercherà di ritrovare la stesso livello di condizione mostrato nell’ultima settimana del Tour de France, quando ha supportato Tadej Pogačar verso la conquista della seconda Grande Boucle consecutiva.
Sulla spinta di due successi di tappa ottenuti alla recente Vuelta Burgos, Sebastian Molano può nutrire giuste aspirazioni per gli arrivi in volata, occasioni nelle quali agirà in coppia assieme a Matteo Trentin.
La formazione emiratina avrà la supervisione del Team Manager Joxean Matxin Fernandez (Spa) e sarà diretta dai tecnici Simone Pedrazzini (Sui), Manuele Mori (Ita) e, in alternanza, da John Wakefield (RSA) e Aurelio Corral (Spa). Ecco i nomi degli otto corridori dell’UAE Team Emirates selezionati:
David De La Cruz (Spa), Joe Dombrowski (Usa), Ryan Gibbons (Rsa), Rafal Majka (Pol), Sebastian Molano (Col), Rui Oliveira (Por), Jan Polanc (Slo), Matteo Trentin (Ita)
Joxean Matxin Fernandez (Team Manager): “Per questa edizione della Vuelta Abbiamo allestito una formazione bilanciata. Potremo contare su un gruppo di quattro scalatori e su un altro blocco di quattro atleti veloci, così da poter essere competitivi sia nelle frazioni di montagna che nelle tappe adatte agli sprinter. Il comune denominatore sarà quello di una mentalità propositiva e votata all’attacco.
Per quanto riguarda la classifica generale, David De La Cruz ha le potenzialità per ambire a un buon risultato e riceverà il giusto supporto dalla squadra per cercare di dare seguito al 7° posto ottenuto nella scorsa edizione della corsa.
Sarà una squadra con una notevole esperienza, con atleti che hanno già mostrato il loro valore nei Grandi Giri, conquistando anche numerosi successi: l’obiettivo è di continuare così anche in questa Vuelta”.
Five days before the start of the 2021 La Vuelta, the Movistar Team confirmed their eight-man lineup for Saturday's start of the 76th Spanish grandtour in Burgos.
The Eusebio Unzué-managed team will take the start of the opening ITT with Imanol Erviti, Miguel Ángel López, Enric Mas, Gregor Mühlberger, Nelson Oliveira, José Joaquín Rojas, Alejandro Valverde and Carlos Verona.
It will be the 42nd consecutive appearance -they haven't ever missed the race since the structure's inception in 1980; 11 years under Telefónica's sponsorship- of a squad whose decorated history includes four overall victories, 13 podiums, 63 stage wins and 12 team prizes.
QHUBEKA NEXTHASH - Team Qhubeka NextHash was dealt a tough blow last week as our intended Vuelta a Espana race leader, Domenico Pozzovivo crashed at the Vuelta a Burgos and fractured his knee. Emil Vinjebo also crashed at the same race, fracturing his collarbone, forcing our team to make two late replacements to our La Vuelta lineup.
Fabio Aru and Sergio Henao will now share responsibility in leading Team Qhubeka NextHash at La Vuelta a Espana. Aru has shown an impressive return to form in recent weeks, and as a previous winner of the Vuelta a Espana, we are proud to have the Sardinian lead our team at La Vuelta.
Henao makes a return to racing after a strong showing at the Tour de France this year, where he infiltrated numerous mountain stage breakaways and was set to ride into the top 20 overall before fracturing his arm in a crash, which slowed the Colombian climber though he did complete the race in Paris.
With Aru and Henao targeting the mountain stages, Reinardt Janse van Rensburg will be our man for the sprint stages. With three top-10 placings in sprints at last year's edition of the race, the South African will be hoping to edge closer to the top of the results sheet with numerous sprint opportunities at this year's edition of La Vuelta.
Dimitri Claeys and Dylan Sunderland, the two late replacement riders, will both be starting their first ever La Vuelta's although the duo do have grand tour experience at the Tour de France and Giro d'Italia, respectively. Their strength and 'diesel engine' characteristics will be key in supporting roles but also on stages for the opportunists.
Bert-Jan Lindeman and Sander Armee, both two former La Vuelta stage winners, will be leaned upon throughout the race as their experience and selfless team support will be invaluable in every race scenario.
Finally, it is a great pleasure for our team to have Connor Brown starting his debut grand tour. A graduate from our continental feeder team last season, the 23-year-old who has dual South African and Kiwi citizenship completes our lineup for La Vuelta a Espana.
Continuing with our team's theme of getting fans, partners and supporters to announce our team lineup's this year, for the Vuelta a Espana, our u23 Qhubeka continental feeder team riders have revealed our La Vuelta roster with a short video clip. We look forward to seeing these future stars at the start of La Vuelta one day too.
This will be my 6th time at Vuelta a Espana and I have really good memories here. My first Vuelta was in 2014 and I won two stages and finished in top five GC. I was fighting with great champions like Contador, Froome, Purito and Valverde, and that was a great experience for me. In 2015 I won the Vuelta and this was amazing, it really changed my life.
As a country, I really love Spain. I love the passion the people from Spain have for cycling. I think they also love me, my characteristics as a rider and my way of racing. When I have the legs I always try to attack and I think they really appreciate this way of racing. The parcour in general, all the stages and big climbs in Spain I always enjoy a lot.
So I can't wait to be back, at a grand tour again, because as we know the last three years have been really hard for me. This year, I have had a new start with a new team, which has a great Ubuntu spirit which I am part of, and new goals. This has allowed me to get that good feeling back on the bike, from GP Lugano until Burgos, which I am very happy about.
I will give my 100% at La Vuelta, actually even more than 100% for this team. We were unfortunate to lose two very strong riders before Vuelta, Pozzovivo and Vinjebo, in crashes at Vuelta Burgos. So as a team we will also be racing for them every day.
Reinardt Janse VAN RENSBURG
We are looking forward to getting the Vuelta a Espana started. A few of us have really focused our season around the Vuelta, and prepared well to be in top shape for the Vuelta. We had a good showing at the Vuelta a Burgos, our last preparation race, with some very good results, despite losing some guys to crashes. We look forward to building on the momentum of Burgos and hope to make our supporters proud during La Vuelta.
I was always one of those kids who was completely obsessed with cycling, whenever there was a grand tour on I was glued to the TV. Now to be racing one is an absolute dream come true! Maybe there will be a kid watching just as I used to, and they will be inspired to ride because of it. That is a cool thought. I want to thank the team for believing in me and giving me this amazing opportunity.
BAHRAIN VICTORIOUS - The season’s final Grand Tour is here, with the 76th edition of La Vuelta a Espana. Mikel Landa leads the Bahrain Victorious’ lineup off the back of winning the overall at Vuelta Burgos.
Damiano Caruso races his second Grand Tour of the season following his successful Giro, finishing second in GC and taking that memorable win on Stage 20. After crashing out of the Tour, Jack Haig returns to racing and has been working hard to get ready for Vuelta.
Wout Poels is back at the Vuelta after a top ten finish last year and in good form, putting on an excellent fight for climber’s classification at this year’s Tour. While promising young talents Gino Mäder and Mark Padun look to add to their two WorldTour stage wins this season. Finally, Yuki Arashiro and Slovenian TT Champion Jan Tratnik round up the line, both racing their second Grand Tour after the Giro.
This year’s Vuelta covers 3,417.7 km over the 21 stages, featuring eight flat stages, four hilly stages, seven mountain stages and two time-trials.
The race starts in Burgos, opening with a 7km time-trial, and unlike the usual finish in Madrid, the race finishes in Santiago de Compostela with a 33.8km time-trial.
Aside from the time-trials the big GC battles will be on the seven mountain stages, especially Stages 17 and 18. Stage 17 is 185km long, with a summit finish on the special category, Lagos de Covadonga, 12.5km long with an average gradient of 6.9% with sections above 16%. The following day, riders will have to do it all again with another summit finish on Alto D’El Gaimoniteiru, considered one of Spain’s most challenging climbs, 14.6km long with an average gradient of 9.8%.
Sports Director Gorazd Štangelj: “We go into the race with Landa as our race leader after a promising result at Burgos. We want to come out of the race with a podium finish, but our ambition is to win the Vuelta and fight for it.
We also have a strong lineup where every rider is capable of winning a stage at this race. So while we will be protecting Mikel and support him during every stage, we will be opportunistic with stages that give our team opportunities to go for stage wins. We want to race aggressively and add to our tally of stage wins at Grand Tours this season. This group of riders are ready for an exciting three weeks of racing ahead.”
CAJA RURAL-SEGUROS RGA
Since its return to the professional ranks, Caja Rural-Seguros RGA has worked on the training and development of young cycling talents, with La Vuelta a España as the main showcase where these valuable lessons can be put into practice. This race has served to confirm the evolution of many cyclists. That work, that effort in search of the stage victories, will fulfill its tenth consecutive adventure starting next August 14.
The big goal of the season
Caja Rural-Seguros RGA arrives to Burgos after a very serious and regular year since its first races, with prominence in the main events held throughout its calendar and the 7th place in the Europe UCI Pro Teams classification. That good average level has forced the staff to weigh multiple options for an eight-man team that finally include the following riders:
Jon Aberasturi. He got the victory at Krsko, on the third stage of the Tour of Slovenia. The Basque sprinter has completed a great 2021, seasoned by eleven places in the top five throughout the season. He faces his fourth edition of La Vuelta, adding several Top 10 in the previous three.
Julen Amézqueta. Second La Vuelta for the Navarrese climber, who also had a good 2021 despite starting it with a crash in his first race in France. His third place in the general of the Vuelta a Andalucía or very solid performances in Asturias (10th), Occitanie (7th) or the Spanish Championships (9th) stands out.
Aritz Bagües. The perfect example of the teammate is preparing to start his fourth consecutive appearance in La Vuelta a España. A very important piece in the team, the Gipuzkoan contributes his work and his ability both in the preparation of massive arrivals and at the service of his colleagues in the rest of the fields.
Jefferson Cepeda. Second Vuelta for the still young Ecuadorian climber (25 years old), who has prepared in detail for two long months in his country the great challenge of the season. Brave and with the experience of the previous edition, the race offers him options to show off in their mid-mountain days.
Álvaro Cuadros. Its the time for the debut in a three-week race for this Granada-born man who is completing his fourth season with Caja Rural-Seguros RGA. He is a brave rider, very present in the breakaways, who adapts to demanding terrain as he demonstrated this summer by winning the mountain classification on the Route d'Occitanie.
Jonathan Lastra. Competitive throughout the year, the Basque has built a 2021 that only lacked the victory. Second in Arrábida and in the Serra de Tramuntana Trophy, third in Alto da Foia, fourth in Malhao and in the GC of Algarve… the persecuted stage victory in his fourth visit to La Vuelta would reward all that work.
Oier Lazkano. Debutant in the Vuelta a España, the still under 23 faces the high point of his second season as a professional with the aim of learning, although without giving up leaving details of his worth as he did last year with his stage triumph in the Volta a Portugal. As in his first Itzulia, he hopes to show himself on some breakaway.
Sergio Martín. Like Lazkano, his first shot at a GT comes in his second season as a professional. He also trained in the development team. The Madrid native has shown an interesting progression since his debut, with good performances in races such as Hungary, Slovenia or Alentejo.
Therefore, three riders will debut next Saturday at La Vuelta (Cuadros, Lazkano and Martín); while Lastra, Bagües and Aberasturi, the most expert in this competition, begin their fourth start. Another important fact is that five of the eight selected men have been trained and developped in the Caja Rural-Seguros RGA elite and under 23 team.
Juan Manuel Hernández (Manager Caja Rural-Seguros RGA):
Ten consecutive editions racing La Vuelta as an invited team is synonymous with the good work done during all these years. Once again we want to step up and show why we are here. We have worked better than ever, we arrived with the cyclists exactly at the moment we were looking for and we are more than capable of winning the stage in La Vuelta that we so much desire.
We have had an outstanding season with a multitude of good positions and the seventh place in the UCI Pro Team classification that reflects the good work of the whole team. It is time to return to Unipublic all the support provided during these ten years, we are proud to be part of this race and we will fight to the last meter to take Caja Rural and Seguros RGA as high as possible.
From Burgos to Santiago
The organizers have prepared a 21-stage layout that will start from Burgos and end in Santiago de Compostela on Sunday, September 5, as a commemoration of the Jacobean year. In between, seven high mountain stages, four considered hillly, two individual time trials and eight flat days, although two finish atop.
The unprecedented arrivals to Picón Blanco (3rd stage), Pico Villuercas (14th) and especially the Alto del Gamoniteiro (18th) or the more traditional ones of Balcon de Alicante (7th), Velefique (9th) and Lagos de Covadonga (17th) stand out.
14.08.21 Stage 1 Burgos - Burgos 7.1 km (ITT)
15.08.21 Stage 2 Caleruega - Burgos 166.7 km
16.08.21 Stage 3 Santo Domingo de Silos - Picón Blanco 202.8 km
17.08.21 Stage 4 El Burgo de Osma - Molina de Aragón 163.6 km
18.08.21 Stage 5 Tarancón - Albacete 184.4 km
19.08.21 Stage 6 Requena - Alto de la Montaña de Cullera 158.3 km
20.08.21 Stage 7 Gandía - Balcón de Alicante 152.0 km
21.08.21 Stage 8 Santa Pola - La Manga del Mar Menor 173.7 km
22.08.21 Stage 9 Puerto Lumbreras - Alto de Velefique 188.0 km
23.08.21 Rest Day
24.08.21 Stage 10 Roquetas de Mar - Rincón de la Victoria 189.0 km
25.08.21 Stage 11 Antequera - Valdepeñas de Jaén 133.6 km
26.08.21 Stage 12 Jaén - Córdoba 175.0 km
27.08.21 Stage 13 Belmez - Villanueva de la Serena 203.7 km
28.08.21 Stage 14 Don Benito - Pico Villuercas 165.7 km
29.08.21 Stage 15 Navalmoral de la Mata - El Barraco 197.5 km
30.08.21 Rest Day
31.08.21 Stage 16 Laredo - Santa Cruz de Bezana 180.0 km
01.09.21 Stage 17 Unquera - Lagos de Covadonga 185.8 km
02.09.21 Stage 18 Salas - Altu d’El Gamoniteiru 162.6 km
03.09.21 Stage 19 Tapia - Monforte de Lemos 191.2 km
04.09.21 Stage 20 Sanxenxo - Mos. Castro de Herville 202.2 km
05.09.21 Stage 21 Padrón - Santiago de Compostela 33.8 km (ITT)