Wiggins To Return At Vuelta a Espana

Wiggins To Return At Vuelta a Espana


Team Sky has announced its nine-man line-up for the 66th edition of the Vuelta a Espana with Bradley Wiggins making a return.

Wiggins makes his return following a broken collarbone sustained during the Tour de France (above)

Wiggins, who was forced to abandon the Tour de France last month with a broken collarbone, will lead a squad which includes fellow Brits Chris Froome and Ian Stannard.

Talented Swede Thomas Löfkvist - who led the team's general classification hopes at the Giro d'Italia - will provide Wiggins with key support in the mountains, as will Italian duo Dario Cioni and Morris Possoni, and the experienced Spaniard Xabier Zandio.

Kuurne-Bruxelles-Kuurne winner Chris Sutton will head up the team's sprint charge, while 10-time Grand Tour veteran Kurt-Asle Arvesen rounds off a talented and versatile squad.

Team Sky Principal Dave Brailsford commented: "Everyone was pleased with the team's performance at the Tour de France and we will be looking to continue racing in the same way at the Vuelta a Espana.

"Having Bradley back has reinvigorated us all. He will lead the team and has recovered and trained well since his operation, but the fact he hasn't been able to race for seven weeks means we will have to take things day by day.

"Bradley has three hugely-experienced riders there to support him in Kurt-Asle Arvesen, Dario Cioni and Xabier Zandio, while Thomas Löfkvist is also a veteran of nine Grand Tours despite his relatively young age.

"Chris Froome and Ian Stannard's inclusion demonstrates once again the depth of British talent we have in the squad, while Morris Possoni and Chris Sutton have also impressed us again this season with their respective climbing and sprint capabilities.

"The team's debut in the race was cut short last year by the tragic death of our carer Txema González and the penultimate stage which ends in his home town of Vitoria will be a particularly difficult day for everyone involved. While Txema will forever be in our thoughts, this year's race should help aid the healing process though and allow people to focus on the future."

Wiggins is keen to make a strong return to action and added: "I'm looking forward to making my return at the Vuelta a Espana. It's a race I haven't ridden before so it'll be exciting to take part in and I want to produce a strong performance for all those people who have supported me since my crash at the Tour de France.

"The level of encouragement I've received has been overwhelming and I'd like to do everyone proud. I have a great team here to support me and it should be a really exciting three weeks of racing."

The tour starts on Saturday 20 August in Benidorm.