Big names announced for Vuelta

The Vuelta a España organizer, Unipublic, has announced a list of big name riders for the August 26...

The Vuelta a España organizer, Unipublic, has announced a list of big name riders for the August 26 start headed by Denis Menchov (Rabobank), who will wear number one as the defending champion. He will be supported by Tour stage winner Michael Rasmussen.

Also included in the Vuelta start-list are the Caisse d'Epargne-Illes Balears riders Óscar Pereiro and Alejandro Valverde. The winner of Sunday's Vattenfall Cyclassics, Óscar Freire (Rabobank) will be looking for stage wins. Saunier-Duval Prodir has listed Koldo Gil and Gómez Marchante and Euskaltel-Euskadi riders Iban Mayo, Samuel Sánchez and Haimar Zubeldia will be hopeful for a high overall placing.

Carlos Sastre (CSC) is in doubt for the tour, but Team Astana is on the start list. Unipublic has deferred its decision on the eligibility of the team's riders to the UCI. According to Unipublic's ethical code, riders cannot be ruled out until doping investigations have been finalized and UCI bans imposed.

Cyclingnewsreported last week that the UCI had voted to allow Astana to continue to race under its old ProTour licence, but only under the condition that none of the riders or staff implicated in Operacion Puerto were involved.

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