Team News: Sky for Vuelta

Tao Geoghegan Hart riding his first Grand Tour the only British rider in Team Sky’s line up for the Vuelta a España which starts in Malaga on Saturday (August 25th)

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Team News: Sky for Vuelta

Team Sky has announced its lineup for the Vuelta a España, which starts in Malaga on Saturday (August 25th). Having enjoyed a period of sustained success – winning the last four Grand Tours, including the Giro d’Italia in May and the Tour de France last month – the team will now be looking to leave its mark on the Vuelta a España.

The squad of Michal Kwiatkowski, David de la Cruz, Tao Geoghegan Hart, Jonathan Castroviejo, Sergio Henao, Salvatore Puccio, Pavel Sivakov and Dylan van Baarle represents an exciting blend of youth and experience – riders making their Grand Tour debuts at the start of their careers; riders who have experience of winning Grand Tours with Team Sky; and riders looking to make the final step in performance as GC riders in their own right.

Fresh from winning his home race, the Tour of Poland, earlier this month, Kwiatkowski is set for a strong Vuelta. Kwiatkowski said: “Vuelta selection is another important step in my career. I’ve never raced two Grand Tours in one season, so I am intrigued to see how my body will react to that challenge. But I don’t feel any pressure – just excitement before a new experience.  … continued after advert


“It’s been a busy summer for me. Just six days after the Tour de France I started in the Tour of Poland and was able to stay in top shape, winning my home race. This year I’m trying to finish the season with a slightly different approach. I think that staying in a racing rhythm might just suit me.”

La Vuelta has been De la Cruz’s main focus for 2018 and he is excited about racing his home Grand Tour in Team Sky colours. De la Cruz said: “It’s so exciting. The Vuelta has been my big goal of the season. I’ve worked really hard in the months following the Giro d’Italia and finally it’s time. I felt really comfortable during Vuelta a Burgos and feel really at home in the team. Everyone was working perfectly together there and I’m really looking forward to La Vuelta. It’s my home race and it’s going to be special to do it with Team Sky.”

23 year old Geoghegan Hart will make his Grand Tour debut in Spain after an impressive second season at Team Sky. Geoghegan Hart said: “I am really excited to be lining up for my first Grand Tour. It is something I have been building towards since I first started with Team Sky, and in many ways for years prior to turning pro. I am really looking forward to doing the lap of Spain with such a strong squad, and trying to learn as much as I can along the way.”

Speaking ahead of his first Grand Tour, Sivakov said: “I’m delighted to be starting my first Grand Tour with Team Sky. I never expected to experience a Grand Tour in my first season with the team. “The team always believed in me and I know this will be a special experience. I have learnt so much this season and now can’t wait to take the next step in my development by testing myself across three weeks.”

Team Sky 2018 Vuelta a España lineup

Jonathan Castroviejo – Spanish – age 31
Immediately fitted into the Team and made a massive contribution in his first season with Team Sky, Castroviejo demonstrated his world-class versatility at the Tour de France, riding superbly in support of Geraint Thomas and Chris Froome. The Spanish national time trial champion will have his eye on La Vuelta’s opening eight-kilometre TT in Malaga and is sure to be a huge help to the team across the medium and high mountains in his home Grand Tour.

David de la Cruz – Spanish – age 29
Seventh overall at the 2016 Vuelta a Espana, De la Cruz has pedigree at his home Grand Tour, and will be hoping to step up this year. He’s settled in quickly at Team Sky, winning the final stage at Paris-Nice; racing strongly in support of Chris Froome at the Giro d’Italia; and earning his first stage race podium appearance for Team Sky by taking third at the Vuelta a Burgos. ‘DLC’ will look to build on that Burgos form and impress on home roads.

Sergio Henao – Colombian – age 30
Colombian national road champion Sergio Henao is one of the fiercest and most consistent competitors in the peloton. The 29 year old defended his national title in February before riding a strong Ardennes campaign and supporting Chris Froome to victory at the Giro d’Italia. Now the 2017 Paris-Nice winner will add his climbing prowess and experience to a strong Vuelta lineup in what will be his ninth Grand Tour.

Tao Geoghegan Hart – British – age 23
Tao Geoghegan Hart has enjoyed a superb second season at Team Sky, building on the progression he made during his debut year at World Tour level. The Hackney-born climber impressed at the Criterium du Dauphine as Geraint Thomas’ key man in the mountains and has earned two strong individual results in 2018, securing fifth overall at the Tour of California and Vuelta a Burgos. The 23 year old has more than earned his Grand Tour debut.

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Michal Kwiatkowski – Polish – age 28
Fresh off a superb team performance at the Tour de France and overall victory on home roads at the Tour of Poland, ‘Kwiato’ has enjoyed another special season in Team Sky colours. One of the strongest and classiest bike riders on the planet, the 2014 world road race champion will have chance to continue his momentum, having also won the Volta ao Algarve and Tirreno-Adriatico earlier this year.

Salvatore Puccio – Italian – age 28
After joining the team in 2012 Salvatore Puccio has established himself as one of the most well-rounded domestiques in the sport. The Italian has been part of winning teams in his last two Grand Tour appearances, having helped Chris Froome to Vuelta a Espana and Giro d’Italia victories. Set to turn 29 during the race, Puccio’s Classics know-how should also prove key in the hustle and bustle of a peloton fighting for position.

Pavel Sivakov – Russian – age 21
Another rider making his Grand Tour debut at the Vuelta, Sivakov has enjoyed an impressive first season as a pro after lighting up the under-23 ranks. An exciting stage race prospect, the Russian, who resides and trains in France, is an accomplished climber who can also time trial at a high level. The Vuelta provides a great opportunity for him to gain experience whilst helping the team in the mountains.

Dylan van Baarle – Dutch – age 26
Starting his fifth Grand Tour but first as a Team Sky rider, the Dutchman will make his Vuelta debut in 2018 and brings added firepower to the lineup. A former overall winner at the Tour of Britain and the current Dutch national time trial champion, Van Baarle is an established Classics rider who can also climb at a high level. His all-round capabilities make him a superb team player across three weeks.


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