Pauwels, Morton and Kudus in Dimension Data team for Vuelta a Espana

No place for Cavendish as he continues recovery from Tour de France injury

Serge Pauwels, Omar Fraile and Igor Anton will lead Dimension Data at the Vuelta a España, while Lachlan Morton makes his Grand Tour debut. Eritrea's Merhawi Kudus, so impressive in the opening part of the season, will also be on hand for the final three-week tour of the year.

As expected, there is no place in the team for Mark Cavendish. The Manxman is currently training in Italy and could return at the Tour of Britain although he has yet to confirm a date for his return to competitive action after he broke his shoulder blade in a finishing straight crash on stage 4 of the Tour de France. 

Pauwels returns to the Vuelta for the first time since 2013 and heads up Dimension Data's challenge for stage honours at the Vuelta alongside Igor Anton, who has twice finished in the top 10 overall and who crashed out while wearing the leader's red jersey in 2010.

Two-time king of the mountains Omar Fraile will have the freedom to go on the offensive throughout the Vuelta and will look to replicate the stage victory he picked up at the Giro d'Italia in May. Kudus will hope to shine on the summit finishes that punctuate the route. The Eritrean, fourth overall at the Tour of Oman and ninth at the recent Vuelta a Burgos, has targeted the Vuelta since the beginning of the season and was withheld from both the Giro and the Tour.

"The Vuelta is traditionally a hard race with lots of climbing, that is why we are bringing a lot of climbers to the race," Pauwels said.

"We have a strong group that can race aggressively and try to hunt for stage wins. I am really looking forward to my second Grand Tour this year. I have taken a short break after the Tour then put in a good training block last week. I hope to take my opportunity as well by picking a stage and trying to get the victory."

The Dimension Data squad is completed by Ben King, Jacques Janse van Rensburg, Grand Tour debutant Lachlan Morton, Nic Dougall and fast finisher Youcef Reguigui.

"We are on our way to the last Grand Tour of the year," said directeur sportif Bingen Fernandez. "For some of our guys this is going to be the second Grand Tour of the season and for some the first Grand Tour ever. They are ready to take it on, motivated to work hard and strive for a victory. We are looking forward to being part of the right moves and coming back home with some good results. A stage win will be the ultimate prize for our team."

The Vuelta gets underway with a team time trial in Nimes, France on Saturday and concludes in Madrid on September 10.

Dimension Data team for the Vuelta a España: Serge Pauwels, Igor Anton, Lachlan Morton, Merhawi Kudus, Ben King, Jacques Janse van Rensburg, Lachlan Morton, Nic Dougall and Youcef Reguigu.

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