The third and final grand tour of the 2016 season, the Vuelta a Espana, gets underway August 20 with a 29.4km team time trial from to Balneario Laias to Castrelo de Miño and to kick-start our countdown Cyclingnews has picked 10 riders to watch.
At the head of the queue is Chris Froome (Team Sky), who heads into the race after winning this third Tour de France. The British rider has never won the Vuelta but had made the podium twice since his dramatic rise in 2011.
Alberto Contador (Tinkoff) comes into the race recovered from the injuries that forced him out of the Tour de France and his recent win in the Tour of Burgos provided an indication that the Spaniard will be on song for his home Grand Tour. His record in the race is second to none too, with three starts and three wins (2008, 2012, 2014).
Another GC rider and former Grand Tour winner heading into the race is Nairo Quintana (Movistar). The Colombian was a disappointing third in the Tour de France, failing to live up to expectation and unable to challenge for the win but the Vuelta offers him a chance of redemption. He was fourth in 2015 but has all the necessary credentials to succeed.
American riders Tejay van Garderen (BMC Racing) and Andrew Talansky (Cannondale Drapac) come into the race from different perspectives – the BMC leader looking to bounce back from the Tour, while the Cannondale rider looking to kick-start his GC career after a recent stall.
The Orica pairing of Simon Yates and Esteban Chaves – the latter of whom was second at the Giro d’Italia – both start with hopeful ambitions of a high finish.
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