"It’s a big disappointment," Barguil said. "To go for stage success in the Vuelta was my second big goal of the season and now due to bad luck I have to abandon so early. Yesterday morning it started with minor pain to my throat and nose, and yesterday after the stage and this morning it got worse. We decided to try and go for it, but it didn’t turn out to be the case."
Coach Luke Roberts explained the team will re-calibrate its goals for the remainder of the race following Barguill's abandon but is confident in his riders.
"It's a big loss for the team. We are going for stage success here in Spain and in respect to that our approach won't change too much," Roberts said. "Obviously our chances are weakened without Warren, especially on the more difficult uphill stages. We still have a lot of riders motivated to try something in breakaway and a team to create as many sprint opportunities for Nikias [Arndt]."
Barguil, 24, a winner of two stages of the 2013 Vuelta a España, targeted the young rider classification at the Tour de France this year, and then competed at the Rio Olympic Games, where he dropped out of the road race.
Warren Barguil wasn't this cheery at the Vuelta a Espana (Getty Images Sport)
Stangelj and Chiesa join Bahrain Merida
Gorazd Stangelj and Mario Chiesa are the newest addition to the fledgeling Bahrain Merida team. Slovenian former rider Stangelj will be the team's technical director, while Chiesa, currently working for IAM Cycling, will be a directeur sportif.
"It's always nice to start a new adventure and in this case even from the beginning," said Chiesa. "I now have the chance to be involved in the foundation of a new team. Perhaps the start won’t easy, but with dedication and the right choices you can soon reach a large goal."
The Bahrain Merida team is backed by the Bahrain government will be led by general manager Brent Copeland. Vincenzo Nibali has already been confirmed as the team’s star rider with fellow Italians Giovanni Visconti and Manuele Boaro also named in the team’s line-up for 2017.
Both Stangelj and Chiesa have worked with Nibali in the past. Stangelj raced with Nibali at the Liquigas team in 2009 and has been his directur sportif at Astana since the Italian joined the team. Chiesa was a directeur sportif at Liquigas for three years from 2006 to 2009 before joining Katusha and then IAM Cycling.
Bahrain Merida is hoping to secure a place in the WorldTour for 2017.
Simon Pellaud hoping Vuelta ride can earn 2017 contract
With his IAM Cycling team dissolving at the end of the season, Simon Pellaud is one of the riders on the team roster still looking for a contract from 2017 and beyond. On stage 3 of the Vuelta a Espana, the 23-year-old went on the attack, explaining "I am here to earn a contract for 2017, and I hope that my name on the TV will spur on the offers."
While there was no stage win or classification jersey awaiting Pellaud atop the Mirador de Ézaro, the Swiss rider enjoyed a visit to the podium as the most aggressive rider for the day.
"I thought I'd have a quiet day in the peloton. But I tried my luck once, and that was the break that stuck," he said. "I enjoyed it because I am comfortable in these weather conditions. And I am satisfied with my winning the red bib number as the most aggressive rider for the stage. I succeeded on mounting the podium for a stage in a grand tour, and that is an accomplishment I won't quickly forget."