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Bardet and Hindley headline DSM at Vuelta a España

Giro d'Italia 2021 - 104th Edition - 5th stage Modena - Cattolica 177 km - 12/05/2021 - Romain Bardet (FRA - Team DSM) - Jai Hindley (AUS - Team DSM) - photo Luca Bettini/BettiniPhoto©2021
Romain Bardet and Jai Hindley of Team DSM at the 2021nGiro d'Italia (Image credit: Bettini Photo)

Romain Bardet and Jai Hindley will headline the Team DSM squad at the Vuelta a España, which gets underway in Burgos on August 14.

Hindley is set to return to competition at the Clásica San Sebastián this weekend, his first race since abandoning the Giro at the end of the second week. In a statement on Monday, DSM suggested that his place in the Vuelta team was provisional, with a final call on his participation to be taken “as the race draws closer.”

Bardet was DSM’s best performer at this year’s Giro, placing seventh overall. The Frenchman is in his first season at DSM and he opted to forgo the Tokyo Olympic Games in order to focus on his build-up to the Vuelta a España. Bardet missed the Tour de France this year for the first time since his debut professional season in 2012.

Chad Haga makes his first Grand Tour appearance of 2021 at the Vuelta, while Michael Storer, Nico Denz, Thymen Arensman, Alberto Dainese and Martijn Tusveld also feature in the eight-man squad.

After enjoying a fine 2020 season, Team DSM have struggled this year. The team’s lone victory of 2021 came at Paris-Nice, where Cees Bol won a stage. While Bardet was a dogged presence in the mountains at the Giro, the team failed to make an impression at the Tour de France.

“We bring a strong team to the Vuelta once again this year, who are very motivated to end Team DSM’s year on a high note and bring home some top results,” DSM Directeur Sportif Matt Winston said in a statement on Monday.

“The team have gelled really well together at altitude camp with some good workshops, as we ironed out and pre-discussed our tactical plans for the race. We’ll take an offensive approach with the team, first focusing on stages and seeing where that brings us, moulding our approach to the race as we head towards Santiago de Compostela.”

Although Hindley is currently included in the eight-man team, his participation will be confirmed closer to the race. Hindley placed second overall at last October’s Giro, but he was forced out of this year’s race with a saddle sore. He has been linked with a move to Bora-Hansgrohe for 2022.

“Jai is still recovering from his injury sustained at the Giro d’Italia. There have been some ups and downs in the last period for him, so we will make the final call on whether he will take the start after as the race draws closer,” Winston said.

“After the final races that we have coming up to put the finishing touches to our hard work, we look forward to bringing our Grand Tour season to a close in Spain next month." 

Ilan Van Wilder, who has been linked with a move away from the team next year, has not been included in the squad. Andreas Leknessund, who was also in the provisional Vuelta team, did not make the cut either.