Bora-Hansgrohe have selected Sam Bennett, Jai Hindley, Sergio Higuita, Wilco Kelderman and Emanuel Buchmann for their Vuelta a España squad as they target overall victory and sprint stages at the final Grand Tour of the season.
Senior sports director Rolf Aldag told Cyclingnews that the team's Vuelta line-up was a puzzle of many pieces and many considerations but the German team have opted to give Bennett a chance in the sprints, while also repeating their multi-leader strategy for the overall classification.
Bennett will have support from Ryan Mullen and lead-out man Danny van Poppel in the sprints that dominate the first week of the Spanish Grand Tour.
“We do have world-class riders in every area, with Sam Bennett in the sprints. Then of course there’s the GC. So the long list is pretty long, and we’ve got lots of options,” Aldag explained to Cyclingnews.
"At the same time, we are in a transition towards GC racing, and the team manager Ralph Denk made it pretty clear what we are aiming for. Winning a Grand Tour was a three-year project but we did it in May. So that also gives us the freedom not to have to chase something we've already achieved. It's a pretty luxurious situation to be in.
"There’s a lot of learning still to do though, so it might be interesting to learn [at the Vuelta] just how to combine a sprinter’s team with GC goals and see what type of riders you need."
Bora-Hansgrohe went all in for GC in the Giro and in the Tour, meaning Bennett and any other sprint options were excluded. Hindley won the Giro with a late attack on the final mountain stage to the Passo Fedaia and then celebrated victory after the final time trial in Verona.
The Vuelta a España was Hindley's first ever Grand Tour, back in 2018. The 26-year-old spent July preparing for the Vuelta and returned to racing at the Clásica San Sebastián. He finished seventh overall at the subsequent Vuelta a Burgos.
Higuita rode the Tour de Pologne, winning a stage and leading the race until the decisive time trial. It will be the Colombian’s second ride at the Vuelta after finishing 14th in 2019.
Hindley and Higuita are set to lead the line but Wilco Kelderman is also a former Grand Tour podium finisher and Emanuel Buchmann was fourth at the 2019 Tour de France, so there are multiple cards and plenty of climbing strength.
With Mullen and Van Poppel supporting Bennett for the sprints, the squad is rounded out by German domestique Jonas Koch.
Bora-Hansgrohe for the Vuelta a España
- Sam Bennett
- Emanuel Buchmann
- Sergio Higuita
- Jai Hindley
- Wilco Kelderman
- Jonas Koch
- Ryan Mullen
- Danny van Poppel.
Thank you for reading 5 articles in the past 30 days*
Join now for unlimited access
Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1
*Read any 5 articles for free in each 30-day period, this automatically resets
After your trial you will be billed £4.99 $7.99 €5.99 per month, cancel anytime. Or sign up for one year for just £49 $79 €59
Join now for unlimited access
Try your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1