Wout Poels likely leader of Vacansoleil-DCM team in Vuelta a España
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Monday, August 15, 2011

Wout Poels likely leader of Vacansoleil-DCM team in Vuelta a España

by Shane Stokes at 6:52 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Vuelta a España
Mosquera, Hoogerland and Bozic will miss Spanish Grand Tour

Wout PoelsSecond overall yesterday in the Tour de l’Ain, Wout Poels will be one of Vacansoleil’s protected riders in the upcoming Vuelta a España. The 23 year old Dutchman has been in solid form all season and will head to Spain determined to clock up more good results. He took his first win of the year in the French race and although David Moncoutie (Cofidis) overhauled him to win the general classification, his morale is high.

He will be joined by compatriots Martijn Keizer and Pim Ligthart, as well as the Belgian Stijn Devolder, who finished eleventh overall in the race five years ago. Also on the team are the Italians Santo Anzà and Matteo Carrara, the Pole Michal Golas, plus Ruslan Pidgornyy and Sergey Lagutin (Uzbekistan).

Of those riders, Keizer and Ligthart are making their Grand Tour debuts. The former won the Boucles de l'Aulne this season, while the latter became Dutch champion in June.

Missing from the lineup is last year’s Vuelta runner-up, Ezequiel Mosquera. He tested positive for hydroxyethyl starch on stage 16, and faces a possible lengthy ban for using a substance classified as a masking agent. Mosquera’s case was referred to the Spanish cycling Federation RFEC back in April, but has not yet progressed. The national anti-doping agency complicated things when it said at the end of July that it gave its support to the rider.

Also absent is Johnny Hoogerland, who finished twelfth in the race for the team two years ago. He had a bad crash in the Tour de France and is likely to target the Tour of Britain instead. Borut Bozic, who sprinted to a stage win in 2009, will also miss the race.

Poels has been in strong form in 2011 and will be hungry to perform. He was third overall in the Tour of the Mediterranean, fourth in the Vuelta a Murcia, plus second on a stage and fourth overall in the recent Tour of Poland. He and his team can be expected to animate the Vuelta in the weeks ahead.


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