Froome leads Team Sky into Vuelta a España

Chris Froome has been announced as Team Sky’s leader for the upcoming Vuelta a Espana, with the former Tour de France winner targeting the overall win at the final grand tour of the 2014 season.

"This year’s Vuelta is a great opportunity for us to get back to Grand Tour racing and I’m delighted that we’ll go there with a strong team that’s very capable of performing well,” Dave Brailsford said in a team statement.

Along with Froome, Team Sky’s full line-up includes Philip Deignan, Mikel Nieve, Vasil Kiryienka, Kanstantsin Siutsou, Christian Knees, Dario Cataldo, and British riders Luke Rowe and Peter Kennaugh. There’s no place for Bradley Wiggins, who will look to defend his Tour of Britain title next month.

"Chris Froome will be our team leader and it’s great to have him back on the bike and focused on the challenge ahead. He was obviously very disappointed after having to withdraw from the Tour de France but Chris has recovered and trained well since the injury. He’s now more determined than ever to get back to what he does best – riding Grand Tours,” Brailsford added.

Froome crashed out of this year’s Tour de France in the first week and was later diagnosed with a fractured wrist and hand. Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) went on to win the race, with Team Sky failing to win a single stage.

Froome's last participation in the Vuelta came in 2012 when he placed fourth overall. He finished second overall in 2011.

"This is exactly the sort of challenge that I need after the disappointment of withdrawing from the Tour de France. You can’t dwell on disappointment, you have to move on quickly to next thing and the Vuelta has become the perfect race for me to focus on,” said Froome.

"I’ve always really enjoyed racing at the Vuelta, it’s a tough race but a great opportunity for the whole team. I know that the level of competition will be incredibly high this year, but we've got a strong line up so we hope to be as competitive as possible."

"I’m really pleased with how my recovery has gone since the Tour, I’ve been training hard and the support team are pleased with my progress. I'm a little bit light on racing days this year so getting a Grand Tour under my belt will not only help me now, but it will also help my preparation for next year.

"Going for the win will certainly be tough, but we’ll give it everything we’ve got."

The Vuelta a España starts on Saturday with a team time trial in Jerez de la Frontera. The race concludes on Sunday, September 14 with an individual time trial in Santiago de Compostela.


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