Cannondale-Drapac Team without GC Ambitions in Vuelta a Espana
The Cannondale-Drapac team will send a line-up of stage victory hopefuls and grand tour debutants to the 2017 Vuelta a Espana.
The decision has been made as a result of Andrew Talansky's lackluster performances this season and Davide Formolo's disappointing decision to leave the Cannondale team for Team Bora-Hansgrohe at the end of this season, despite the dedication and recognition Formolo has received from team management, including a role as general classification leader in the team's Giro d'Italia line-up this year.
With four riders making their Grand Tour debut and another starting his first Vuelta, there are plenty of new experiences on offer for the team in Spain, France and Andorra. The Cannondale-Drapac team will be led by Basque sports director Juanma Garate in cooperation with Tom Southam.
The 2017 Vuelta a España starts with a 13.9-kilometer team time trial in Nîmes, France on Saturday, August 19.
"The Vuelta this year has a team time trial, one individual time trial, four stages that will most likely end in a bunch sprint, six hilly stages and nine uphill finals," Garate said. "The design of this year’s Vuelta opens a lot of possibilities for aggressive teams and riders."
With no general classification contender in the line-up, Cannondale-Drapac will attempt to capitalize on its squad’s motivation to animate in pursuit of stage wins.
"The average age in our team is 27 years. It’s probably not the youngest team at the start, but I think we do bring the team with the most rookies,” Garate commented. "Not only do we have four riders racing their first Grand Tour, but we have another two riders who have only ever done one Grand Tour in their careers."
"We want to continue with the attitude that we showed as a team during this season, specifically in the Giro and the Tour," Garate explained to Roadcycling.com. "Of course we don’t have high general classification ambitions, but we do want to win a stage as we did in the Giro and the Tour de France."
Team Cannondale-Drapac roster for the 2017 Vuelta a Espana:
Simon Clarke (AUS), Brendan Canty (AUS), Will Clarke (AUS), Joe Dombrowski (USA), Thomas Scully (NZL), Toms Skujins (LAT), Tom Van Asbroeck (BEL), Davide Villella (ITA), and Mike Woods (CAN)