Vuelta a España: Thomas Löfkvist to lead Team Sky; Simon Gerrans and Juan Antonio Flecha to hunt stages
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Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Vuelta a España: Thomas Löfkvist to lead Team Sky; Simon Gerrans and Juan Antonio Flecha to hunt stages

by Ben Atkins at 1:12 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Vuelta a España
 
British superteam announces aggressive line up for the year's third Grand Tour

thomas lofkvistTeam Sky has named its nine-man squad for the Vuelta a España, which starts on Saturday August 28th. The British-registered team will be led by Swede Thomas Löfkvist, who will be looking for a high position in the overall classification after his 17th place finish in the Tour de France. Sky will keep its options open though, with a number of aggressive riders; the search for stage wins will be led by Australian Simon Gerrans and Spaniard Juan Antonio Flecha.

Löfkvist was Sky’s best finisher at the Tour de France, as last year’s fourth place finisher Bradley Wiggins was unable to match the high expectations put on him. He last rode the Vuelta in 2007, when he finished in 54th place while riding for Française des Jeux. Now older and more experienced, especially after his July performance, the Swedish rider should hope to do much better this time.

"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,” said Sky’s Team Principle Dave Brailsford. "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.

"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."

As well as the more experienced riders, Sky will also be continuing the development of three young British riders. 23-year-old Ian Stannard and 22-year-old sprinter Ben Swift both rode last year’s Giro d’Italia, but 21-year-old Peter Kennaugh will be riding a three-week tour for the first time in his career.

Team Sky for the Vuelta a España:
John-Lee Augustyn, Kjell Carlström, Juan Antonio Flecha, Simon Gerrans, Peter Kennaugh, Thomas Löfkvist, Lars-Petter Nordhaug, Ian Stannard and Ben Swift

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