Caja Rural, Burgos BH name Vuelta squads - News shorts

Spanish Professional Continental outfits Caja Rural-Seguros RGA and Burgos BH have announced their line-ups for the Vuelta a Espana. The two teams, who received wild card invitations to the Vuelta, are both sending young squads to their home Grand Tour, which starts on Saturday, August 25.

Caja Rural is riding its seventh consecutive Vuelta, and is sending a “balanced team”, which can go for sprint finishes as well as fighting on the mountain stages. Sergio Pardilla, Alex Aranburu, Lluis Mas, Nick Schultz, Nelson Soto, Cristian Rodriguez, Jonathan Lastra and Antonio Molina will represent the team.

It is the Grand Tour debut for Aranburu, Soto, Lastra, and Molina, and it will be Rodriguez's first appearance at the Vuelta, having appeared twice in the Giro d’Italia. Pardilla, at 34 years old, is the only veteran on the team, with all the others are 25 or less.

Burgos BH is also sending five debutantes to the race. Jordi Simon, Jorge Cubero, Jesus Ezquerra, Pablo Torres, and neo-pro Oscar Cabedo will ride their first Grand Tour, while Jose Mendes, Diego Rubio and Jetse Bol round out the team. The team, with an average age of 27.5 years, “will try to take the Burgos-BH brand as far as possible, in addition to responding to the confidence placed by the organization with the invitation.”

Campenaerts in for Marczynski for Lotto Soudal

Victor Campenaerts will replace Tomasz Marczynski for Lotto Soudal in the Vuelta a Espana. The Polish rider, who won two stages of last year's Vuelta a Espana, has been ruled out of the race due to illness.

The Belgian team will now appear at the race with an all-Belgian squad. It will be Campenaerts’ second appearance in the Vuelta, having finished 143rd in his Grand Tour debut in 2016 for LottoNL-Jumbo. He recently defended his European time trial title by less than a second over Spain's Jonathan Castroviejo and is currently riding the BinckBank Tour. He had been keen to ride the Spanish Grand Tour but was missed off the initial eight-man team. 

"I always wanted to ride the Vuelta. So far, I have been satisfied with the program and the opportunities the team has offered me. I fully understood that I wasn’t part of the initial line-up. There were a lot of other guys who were eager to participate in the Vuelta," he said on the team website. "The sports directors told me that if something would happen to the riders who were selected, I would certainly be one of the guys to replace them. The Vuelta a España takes off with a prologue, that’s always nice. Eight kilometres is not that long but I will do everything to obtain a good result. Afterwards, we’ll see if there are any other opportunities.”

Planckaert out of BinckBank with concussion

Baptiste Planckaert (Katusha-Alpecin) was forced to abandon the BinckBank Tour after a heavy crash during stage 6. The 29-year-old crashed onto a pavement on Saturday’s penultimate stage, and was immediately taken to hospital where he was diagnosed with a concussion.

“He crashed yesterday in stage 6 and had to abandon the race. After medical examinations, he suffered a concussion. A few days off the bike for him,” the team tweeted Sunday morning. 

It was a bad day for the Katusha-Alpecin team in general with Marcel Kittel also stepping off during the stage. 

Vermote abandons BinckBank with wrist injury

Julian Vermote (Dimension Data) was one of several riders to fall victim to a crash during the penultimate stage of the BinckBank Tour. The Belgian, along with his teammate Nic Dougall, came down with around 60 kilometres remaining, and landed heavily on his hand. 

Dougall would abandon the race, but Vermote would ride onto the finish and completed the stage almost 20 minutes after the winner Gregor Muhlberger (Bora-Hansgrohe). Following further post-stage tests, Vermote was forced to depart the race and will have to wear a cast on his wrist before having further tests in the coming weeks.

"Unfortunately I have to leave the BinckBank tour due to a wrist injury and I’ll to wear a brace for a week after which I’ll undergo further examinations," he said. "I’m really disappointed that I won’t be able to complete the race but I’ll be doing everything to recover as quickly as possible so that I can get back to racing."

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