Team Columbia-HTC sees the 2010 Vuelta a España as “an interesting race, one in which our GC contenders and some of our other riders will have a real chance to shine.” The newly-announced route offers the US-based team plenty of chances to repeat its success from this year.
Columbia-HTC won five stages in the 2009 Vuelta, one by Greg Henderson and four by sprinter Andre Greipel, who also took the overall points competition.
"The Tour of Spain 2010 route is very demanding and the racing will be fast-moving and exciting all the way through, which is how we like it," said directeur sportif Alan Peiper. "In the past we've always done well in those kinds of races. In next year's Vuelta, the mountain stages aren't really concentrated in one or two big blocks like in the Tour de France. So with so much different terrain on offer, we can expect opportunities to come up constantly.
“Overall, the route favours the real climbers,” he continued. "The opening team time trial [of 16.5 km - ed.] is so short that the time differences won't be great, and there is only one individual time trial.
“However, you start to suffer on one of those big climbs in the Pyrenees and you can lose a minute a kilometre. The route is deliberately designed so you can lose or win the Vuelta right up to the second to last day, as has happened in the past. It's going to be a real challenge."