Elissonde replaced by De la Cruz in Team Ineos' Vuelta a Espana line-up

Team Ineos have made a late change to their Vuelta a España line-up, with Kenny Elissonde replaced by David de la Cruz and told to fly home on Friday without being given an explanation.

De la Cruz was originally set to be part of the British team’s eight-man line-up, with Elissonde first reserve. However, the Frenchman got the nod on Monday and was included in the squad announcement on Tuesday.

He spent Wednesday travelling, only to be told that evening he was out and De la Cruz was in. Team Ineos announced the change on Thursday morning, without giving a reason. When contacted, a spokesperson for the team would not comment.

Cyclingnews spoke to Elissonde, who explained what had happened from his point of view. 

"I was first reserve. They called me Monday night to say I was in the selection for the race, and they made the announcement," Elissonde said. 

“I travelled yesterday [Wednesday] the whole day. I landed around 6pm to receive a call from [team CEO] Fran Millar saying she was so sorry but finally they changed the selection meanwhile, and something had changed and finally De la Cruz was racing.

"So then I’m at the hotel and I come back home tomorrow. I don’t know any reasons behind the scenes."

The omission means Elissonde will not race a Grand Tour in 2019. In his first two seasons at Ineos, having signed from French team FDJ in 2017, he raced the Giro d'Italia, notably setting up Chris Froome for his attack on the Colle delle Finestre that led to his spectacular 2018 victory.

Elissonde's time at Ineos will come to an end this year. As previously reported by Cyclingnews, he's set to join Trek-Segafredo and ride in support of Vincenzo Nibali.

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