Fabio Jakobsen leads Deceuninck-QuickStep into Vuelta a España

QUAREGNON BELGIUM JULY 24 Fabio Jakobsen of Netherlands and Team Deceuninck QuickStep celebrates at arrival during the 42nd Tour de Wallonie 2021 Stage 5 a 1831km stage from Dinant to Quaregnon tourdewallonie grandprixdewallonie on July 24 2021 in Quaregnon Belgium Photo by Luc ClaessenGetty Images
Fabio Jakobsen celebrating a win at the recent Tour de Wallonie (Image credit: Getty Images)

Fabio Jakobsen will headline Deceunick-QuickStep's ambitions at the upcoming Vuelta a España, aiming to continue his resurgence following his long, injury layoff. 

The Dutchman, who spent eight months on the sidelines recovering from a career and life-threatening crash at last year's Tour de Pologne, returned to action this April and to winning ways at the recent Tour de Wallonie. 

He will return to the scene of his Grand Tour debut in 2019, when he won two stages of that year's Vuelta, in his second season as a professional. 

Although the Vuelta once again features a plethora of summit finishes, there are more opportunities than usual for the fast finishers, with six potential bunch finishes for a field that also includes Caleb Ewan (Lotto Soudal) and Arnaud Démare (Groupama-FDJ). 

Jakobsen will be assisted by a lead-out train that includes Florian Sénéchal, Josef Cerny, and Bert Van Lerberghe, while Zdenek Stybar also has the engine to assist in the run-ins of the flatter stages. 

The rest of Deceuninck-QuickStep's eight-man squad is geared towards the hillier terrain, with James Knox providing a possible GC option alongside the younger duo of Andrea Bagioli and Mauri Vansevenant. 

Knox finished 11th at the 2019 Giro before riding as a mountain domestique at the last two editions of the Giro d'Italia for Joao Almeida. 

Bagioli, 22, made his Grand Tour debut at last year's late-season Vuelta in his encouraging first season as a professional, while Vansevenant, another 22-year-old second-year pro, makes his three-week debut after lighting up the last two Ardennes Classics campaigns. 

“La Vuelta is La Vuelta, one of the hardest races of the season, but we are confident, as we have a strong team capable of fighting for a good result on almost all stages," said team director Wilfried Peeters.

"Fabio is back in a Grand Tour after two years and comes at the start following a very good Tour de Wallonie and supported by a solid sprint train, consisting of Josef, Florian and Bert, all riders who have shown their quality in the past. 

"Zdenek and Josef are both capable of seizing the opportunity if it will present itself, while James, Mauri and Andrea can try and do something in the mountains stages, where they have what it takes to go for a nice result."

The 2021 Vuelta a España gets underway in Burgos on Saturday, August 14, and concludes with a time trial into Santiago de Compostela on Sunday, September 5.

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