Sergio Henao gets his chance at the head of Sky Procycling Vuelta squad
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Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Sergio Henao gets his chance at the head of Sky Procycling Vuelta squad

by Ben Atkins at 12:04 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Vuelta a España
 
Colombian to be supported by compatriot Rigoberto Urán in Spanish tour

sergio henaoSergio Henao will get the chance to lead the Sky Procycling team in a Grand Tour for the first time, as he starts the Vuelta a España on Saturday, August 24th. Until now, the 25-year-old Colombian has ridden in support of teammates like Chris Froome, Bradley Wiggins and compatriot Rigoberto Urán. Neither of the British riders will be at the start of the Vuelta this year, but Urán will be called upon to support Henao this time.

“It’s a testament to the strength and depth in this team that we can line up in all three Grand Tours this year with such strong squads,” said Sky team principle Dave Brailsford. “We’ve watched Sergio develop since he joined the team and this is a great opportunity for him to demonstrate what he is capable of on a big stage like the Vuelta.
 
“We have selected a squad for all eventualities out on the road and we’re excited to get started and to try to build on our success this season.”

Henao rode the Giro d’Italia and the Vuelta last year, in support of Urán and Froome respectively. He started this year’s Giro in support of Wiggins, but switched his support to Urán after the then Tour champion pulled out through illness and injury. Despite not being able to fully ride for himself, the Colombian has finished ninth, 14th and 16th in his first three Grand Tours and is looking forward to going even better this time.

“The Vuelta is a huge race for me and an important and prestigious event,” Henao said. “It is an honour to be picked as the team leader and it’s a responsibility that I want to try and fulfil. I respect what the team has asked of me and I want to try and make the most out of the opportunity.
 
“The Vuelta is always a hard race and it’s getting tougher every year,” he added. “There are a lot of great riders targeting the race this season and the racing is going to be at a really high level.”

Despite the absence of Froome and Wiggins - as well as super climbing domestique Richie Porte - Team Sky’s team will likely be one of the strongest at the Vilanova de Arousa start on Saturday. Edvald Boasson Hagen and Vasil Kiryienka make their return to the Grand Tour stage after dropping out of the Tour de France - through a fractured shoulder blade and exhaustion respectively - while Salvatore Puccio will also start his second of the year, having taken the Maglia Rosa on his Giro debut in May.

Dario Cataldo and Christian Knees also return from Sky’s Giro team, while 23-year-old Luke Rowe is set to make his Grand Tour debut.

Sky Procycling team for the Vuelta a España
Edvald Boasson Hagen, Dario Cataldo, Sergio Henao, Vasil Kiryienka, Christian Knees, Salvatore Puccio, Luke Rowe, Rigoberto Urán, Xabier Zandio

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