Carapaz leads youthful Ineos Grenadiers line-up for Vuelta a España

Vuelta Espana 2020 - 75th Edition - 8th stage Logrono - Alto de Moncalvillo 164 km - 28/10/2020 - Richard Carapaz (ECU - Ineos Grenadiers) - photo Luis Angel Gomez/BettiniPhoto©2020
Richard Carapaz leads Ineos at the Vuelta a España (Image credit: Bettini Photo)

Ineos Grenadiers have confirmed their line-up for the Vuelta a España, with Richard Carapaz leading a youthful squad that includes four Grand Tour debutants. 

The Ecuadorian, who finished runner-up at the Giro d'Italia earlier in the season and also at the Vuelta in 2020, will target the overall title in his final Grand Tour for the British team. 

He will be flanked by the in-form Pavel Sivakov, as well as Tao Geoghegan Hart, who rides his first Grand Tour of what has been a difficult season. 

Dylan van Baarle adds support and experience but the rest of the squad is all about the new generation of young talents taking hold at Ineos Grenadiers. 

Half of the squad will ride a three-week race for the first time: Ethan Hayter, Luke Plapp, Carlos Rodríguez, and Ben Turner. 

"Our team for the Vuelta is a really exciting one; a great mix of experience and youth, which we believe will produce some outstanding racing," said deputy team principal, Rod Ellingworth.

Carapaz, who is expected to join EF Education-EasyPost in 2023, has finished on the podium at all three Grand Tours during his three seasons with Ineos and is looking to go out with a win. He returned to action two weeks ago in his return from the Giro, where he was divested of the pink jersey by Jai Hindley on the final mountain. 

Sivakov, who also rode the Giro, won the recent Vuelta a Burgos and finished second at the Clásica San Sebastián, so could offer a GC plan-B, while Geoghegan Hart, who missed the Giro due to illness and was a reserve for the Tour de France, finally has his Grand Tour start. 

"As a previous winner, and having placed second in 2020, we’re looking forward to Richie drawing on that experience and leading the team as the race heads for Madrid, in what undoubtedly will be a very exciting edition of the Vuelta," said Ellingworth. 

"Dylan, Pavel and Tao provide invaluable experience to complete a group we believe can deliver some incredible moments in the final Grand Tour of a brilliant season."

The four debutants

Ineos Grenadiers have invested heavily in youth in recent years and a number of them will have a chance to shine and progress at the 2022 Vuelta a España. 

Hayter has been pushing for a Grand Tour start as the next step in his development, having turned professional in 2020, although he did previously juggle road racing with his track ambitions. He was on the team's long list for the Tour de France but missed out.

He has won 15 races in the past two-and-a-half seasons, with a strong uphill sprint and time trial, and also nascent climbing ability that has linked him with a future as a stage race contender. 

Rodríguez also turned professional with Ineos in 2020 and is still only 21, although he's performing beyond his years, with top 10s at Valencia, Ruta del Sol, and Route d'Occitannie this season. He won the Spanish road race title in June and highlighted his pre-Vuelta form with fifth at the Clásica San Sebastián and fourth at the Vuelta a Burgos. 

Plapp, another 21-year-old, has had an eye-catching debut season as a pro, with a top-10 overall finish at Tour de Romandie and a podium at Tour of Norway. 23-year-old Neo-pro Turner, meanwhile, was the revelation of Ineos' new-look Classics squad this spring. 

"To have four Grand Tour debutants in Carlos, Luke, Ethan and Ben reinforces the belief we have in the quality of our young riders and we know that they’ll provide fantastic support for Richie in his last Grand Tour with us," said Ellingworth. 

"All four have impressed in 2022 and this will be the next big step in their development at the very highest level."

Ineos Grenadiers for the Vuelta a España

  • Richard Carapaz
  • Pavel Sivakov
  • Tao Geoghegan Hart
  • Dylan van Baarle
  • Ethan Hayter
  • Luke Plapp
  • Carlos Rodríguez
  • Ben Turner

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