The Cannondale-Drapac team have confirmed its final nine-rider roster for the Vuelta a España as riders arrive in Nimes, France for Saturday's opening team time trial. Joe Dombrowski will lead the US-registered WorldTour team with Davide Formolo a late withdrawal after coming down with bronchitis. Andrew Talansky will also miss the Spanish Grand Tour.
Also in the Cannondale-Drapac line-up are road captain Simon Clarke, Brendan Canty, Will Clarke, Thomas Scully, Toms Skujins, Tom Van Asbroeck, Davide Villella and Mike Woods. Will Clarke will replace Formolo after recently riding the Colorado Classic race in the USA.
"The average age in our team is 27 years. It's probably not the youngest team at the start, but I think we do bring the team with the most rookies," said sport director Juanma Garate. "Not only do we have four riders racing their first Grand Tour, but we have another two riders who have only ever done one Grand Tour in their careers.
"We want to continue with the attitude that we showed as a team during this season, specifically in the Giro and the Tour. Of course we don't have high GC ambitions, but we do want to win a stage as we did in the Giro and the Tour de France."
Formolo, who recently confirmed he would move to Bora-Hansgrohe in 2018, had been training for the Vuelta a Espana at altitude in Italy but came down with a fever at the weekend and then was struck by bronchitis. He has not raced since the Criterium du Dauphine in June, following his tenth place overall at the Giro d'Italia. He was expected to be one of Cannondale-Drapac's protected riders for the overall classification at the Vuelta a Espana but will now take some time to full recover and then target the series of one-day races in Italy.
Cannondale-Drapac have enjoyed successful Grand Tour racing this season with Pierre Rolland winning a stage at the Giro d'Italia and Formolo finishing tenth overall. Rigoberto Uran finished second overall at the Tour de France, just 54 seconds behind Chris Froome (Team Sky), with the Colombian also winning the testing mountain stage to Chambery.
Dombrowski rode the Giro d'Italia in May and will tackle his second Grand Tour of 2017. He is well suited to the mountainous route of the 2017 Vuelta a Espana and will no doubt also target stage victories along with Clarke, Woods, Scully and Skuijns, who proved he has recovered from the concussion he suffered at the Tour of California by riding aggressively at the Tour de Pologne.
Cannondale-Drapac for the Vuelta a Espana: Brendan Canty (Aus), Simon Clarke (Aus), Will Clarke (Aus), Joe Dombrowski (USA), Thomas Scully (NZl), Toms Skujins (Lat), Tom Van Asbroeck (Bel), Davide Villella (Ita) and Mike Woods (Can).
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