Garmin-Sharp will take a three-pronged approach to the Vuelta a España with Dan Martin, Ryder Hesjedal and Andrew Talansky set to lead the team. David Millar will also ride his first Grand Tour of the year, after missing out on selection for the Tour de France.
The American team have suffered a lot of bad luck in Grand Tours during the 2014, with their team leaders crashing out at the Giro d’Italia and Tour de France.
Martin was set to take on the general classification at the Giro d’Italia, but the Irish rider didn’t make it to the end of the first stage. He hit a manhole cover during the opening team time trial, causing him to crash and take out almost half the team. Hesjedal was able to salvage the race for the team, overcoming the initial time losses to come ninth overall. Koldo Fernandez, who broke his collarbone in the day one crash, also makes the Vuelta selection.
Talansky comes to the race after abandoning the Tour de France with acute sacroiliitis. The American crashed heavily twice in two days during the first week and eventually called it quits after stage 11. He will be supporting Hesjedal and Martin, but could provide the team with a backup plan.
Joining the trio will be veteran ride Millar, who will retire at the end of the season. With 23 Grand Tour’s under his belt, Millar will provide a wealth of experience in the final three-week race of his career. Millar was due to ride the Tour de France, but missed selection when he fell ill ahead of the race. The Scottish rider was understandably disappointed with the decision and was extremely vocal about it.
The remainder of the team is a mixture of experience and youth. After making his Grand Tour debut at the Giro d’Italia, Nathan Haas will ride his second. Andre Cardoso and Johan Vansummeren also make the Vuelta a España their second Grand Tour of the year, while 23-year-old Nate Brown makes his debut.
Garmin-Sharp Vuelta a España team: Daniel Martin, Ryder Hesjedal, Andrew Talansky, Nate Brown, Andre Cardoso, Koldo Fernandez, Nathan Haas, David Millar, Johan Vansummeren.