Team Sky Announces 2010 Vuelta a Espana Roster
Team Sky have announced their nine-man squad for the Vuelta a España, the third and final Grand Tour of the 2010 season. Thomas Löfkvist looks to build on Tour de France display.
The Team Sky roster for the 2010 Vuelta a Espana is headed by Swede Thomas Löfkvist who was Team Sky's highest-placed rider on the general classification at the 2010 Tour de France.
He's joined by two other men who took part in the Tour de France - Spaniard Juan Antonio Flecha and Australia's Simon Gerrans, the latter having made a full recovery after fracturing his arm on the eighth stage.
South African John-Lee Augustyn, Finland's Kjell Carlström, Norway's Lars-Petter Nordhaug and British trio Peter Kennaugh, Ian Stannard and Ben Swift complete the line-up.
The Vuelta celebrates its 75th anniversary this year and starts on August 28 with a spectacular night-time team time trial through Sevilla.
Team Sky Principal Dave Brailsford said of the squad: "Following Thomas Löfkvist's performance at the Tour de France he'll go in as our GC rider but we'll also be heading to the Vuelta with a stage-win mentality.
"Simon Gerrans is a key stage winner - that's his forte and how he made his name. Unfortunately he had to drop out of the Tour because of injury so he wants to get out there in Spain and try and search out some stage wins," Brailsford added.
"And the team as a whole will be on the front foot, we want to be attacking. It's a good opportunity for all the guys - we'll choose our days and the stages to take the race on.
"It's a home-Tour for Flecha and he'll obviously be looking to shine, while someone like John-Lee Augustyn has had a difficult season but this gives him some structure to the campaign - he's a very good climber and is now coming into form."
Gerrans, the first Australian to win stages at all three Grand Tours, admits the lure of the Vuelta gave him added impetus in his recovery from his Tour de France injuries.
He returns to action at the Tour du Limousin next week and is relishing being part of Team Sky's first appearance in the Vuelta, saying: "It's a big, big race and it's given me a real focus for the last part of the year."
Echoing Brailsford's comments on the make-up of the squad, Gerrans added: "We've got a strong team to go for stage wins and get in the crucial breaks. Pretty much everyone on the team is capable of doing that if and when the opportunity arises."