João Almeida and Brandon McNulty feature in the UAE Team Emirates squad for the Vuelta a España , where teenager Juan Ayuso also lines up for his Grand Tour debut.
The team also includes Ivo Oliveira, Marc Soler and Jan Polanc, as well as sprinter Pascal Ackermann and his lead-out man Sebastian Molano.
As already announced, Tadej Pogacar will not ride this year’s Vuelta. The Slovenian opted against lining out after placing second at the Tour de France and he will instead focus on one-day races in the final weeks of the season.
Almeida will lead the UAE Team Emirates challenge in Spain, and he warmed up for the race with a strong display at the Vuelta a Burgos, where he won the final stage to Lagunas de Neila en route to second place overall.
“It’s my first Vuelta and I’m really excited to get started,” Almeida said in a statement released by his team. “The past few months have not been straightforward and my condition has not been 100%. At Vuelta Burgos it finished on a high note and it was a good boost for the confidence to take the win on the last day. I felt like a rode myself into that race.”
Almeida was in the hunt for a podium place at May’s Giro d’Italia until his race was cut short by a COVID-19 diagnosis with four days remaining. The Portuguese champion’s best Grand Tour finish was his 4th place on the 2020 Giro.
“I’m feeling good again on the bike and […]