Trek Factory Racing announces Vuelta a España roster
Fabian Cancellara, Markel Irizar, Jasper Stuyven, Yaroslav Popovych, Fränk Schleck, Boy Van Poppel, Danny Van Poppel, Riccardo Zoidl and Haimar Zubeldia will be the nine riders at the start of the Vuelta a España (August 22 - September 13) in Marbella.
“I believe we are bringing a strong and balanced team to the start of the third Grand Tour of the season,” says General Manager Luca Guercilena. “We have our eyes set on the GC with Fränk (Schleck) and we’d like to come home with at least one stage win.”
“Fränk is our overall leader. Everybody knows how much experience he has. He has had a couple of setbacks this season and missed out on the Tour (de France), but he’s ready for this Vuelta and more importantly, he’s very fresh. He raced Utah and only narrowly missed out on the podium because of bonification seconds,” says Guercilena.
The Vuelta a España counts no less than ten stages with an uphill finish, eight of those with a climb longer than three kilometers to the line. Haimar Zubeldia and Riccardo Zoidl will be riding in support of Schleck, says Guercilena.
“Haimar (Zubeldia) needs no introduction. His wealth of experience is tremendous. He suffered from a stomach virus after the Tour but is all set to race now. And Riccardo (Zoidl) has proven in the last one and a half seasons with us that he’s a very classy rider that can be competitive in many ways.
Six stages in, the Vuelta a España may see a sprinter raise his arms at the end, and Trek Factory Racing's roster includes two sets of fast legs ready for the fast finishes.
Luca Guercilena: “With Danny (Van Poppel) and Jasper (Stuyven) we have two very fast men at the start. Their profiles allow us to play in terms of who will be the designated sprinter. Danny has shown some serious progression over the last months and Jasper showed his Grand Tour value with three top-4 placings and ninth in the closing time trial last year at the Vuelta."
"With Boy (Van Poppel), Markel (Irizar) and (Yaroslav) Popo(vych) we have three sturdy all-rounders. All three are hard men on a mission to support the team’s goals,” continues Guercilena.
Last but not least, the team can count on Fabian Cancellara during the Vuelta. The Swiss champion will return to racing at the Vuelta after sustaining two transverse process fractures in two vertebrae bones of the lower back while wearing the yellow jersey on stage three of the Tour de France.
Guercilena: “Fabian comes to the start with different expectations and goals than other years because of the injury. It’s absurd to think that he’s doing this for the second time this season. But everyone knows his talent and his capacity to recover. I have no doubt that he will build great shape in the Vuelta. The first week won’t be easy for him, but he can suffer a lot and he’s determined to finish the season on a high!"