Vuelta a Espana: Quick-Step with De la Cruz, Jungels, Alaphilippe

De la Cruz leads GC bid, while Trentin and Terpstra provide options in versatile squad

David de la Cruz will lead Quick-Step Floors' general classification bid at the Vuelta a España, with Bob Jungels, eighth overall at the Giro d'Italia, set to ride a second Grand Tour in one season for the first time in his career.

Julian Alaphilippe, who was forced the miss the Tour de France through a knee injury, has also been named in the Belgian team's nine-man squad, where Matteo Trentin and Niki Terpstra offer further chances for stage wins.

De la Cruz impressed at the Vuelta last year, with a stage win, a stint in the leader's jersey, and seventh overall, and he has continued that form into the 2017 season. After stage wins at Paris-Nice and the Vuelta al País Vasco, the Spaniard was third overall at the recent Vuelta a Burgos.

"We hope to do a good race and be up there when it comes to both stage wins and the general classification. David de la Cruz will set his sights on a good result in the overall standings, and after finishing in the top 10 last year, we believe he can be again among the protagonists, but we will take it one stage at a time and see how the race progresses," said directeur sportif Geert Van Bondt.

While De la Cruz is the nominal leader, the team has another strong card to play in the form of Jungels, who has won the white jersey for best young rider at the past two editions of the Giro. He has had a relatively light schedule since finishing eighth overall at the Giro in May, and taking on a second Grand Tour will be seen as part of his development as a general classification rider.

Along with De la Cruz, Quick-Step will have a second Spanish talent in their squad, with neo-pro Enric Mas handed his Grand Tour debut. Hopes are high for the 22-year-old, who finished second, ahead of De la Cruz, at Burgos.

Eros Capecchi will add support in the mountains, while Tim Declercq and Yves Lampaerts provide horsepower on the flatter terrain.

"If you look at the average age of our team, you can see it's very young but nonetheless it is a complete team, with several experienced riders, capable of winning in almost every terrain, so we're heading to the start in Nîmes with confidence and optimism," said Van Bondt.

The Vuelta a España gets underway on Saturday, August 19, with a team time trial in Nimes, France.

Quick-Step Floors for the 2017 Vuelta a España: Julian Alaphilippe, Eros Capecchi, David De la Cruz, Tim Declercq, Bob Jungels, Yves Lampaerts, Enric Mas, Niki Terpstra, Matteo Trentin.

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