Italian champion Vincenzo Nibali will race in the upcoming Vuelta a España, joining teammates Fabio Aru and Mikel Landa in the Spanish Grand Tour. The 2010 winner of the race announced on twitter this Friday that he would be taking to the start line in Puerto Banus on August 22.
“Alla #Vuelta ci sarò anch'io con @FabioAru1 #Landa e tutto il @AstanaTeam che spettacolo per i nostri fans Tutti uniti per un solo obiettivo,” he wrote. “The #Vuelta I’ll be there with @FabioAru1 #Landa and all @AstanaTeam what entertainment for our fans all united for one goal.”
It’s unclear who will lead the team, although his palmarès would suggest that it will be Nibali. The Italian lost the defence of his Tour de France title this July, after a tough opening two weeks. Nibali came good though in the final few days, scoring a stage victory to La Toussuire – a result that helped him clamour back up the standings to fourth overall. Aru finished second at the Giro d'Italia in May this year, with Landa taking third. Neither have ridden since completing the Italian Grand Tour, with Aru set to make his racing return at the Tour de Pologne this weekend while Landa is down to race at San Sebastián.
The Astana captain is not the only Tour contender to confirm for the Vuelta - Tejay van Garderen (BMC), who abandoned the Tour with illness while sitting third overall, chose the Vuelta over defending his USA Pro Challenge title. Tour winner Chris Froome (Sky) is also considering tackling the Vuelta but has not yet confirmed.
Nairo Quintana is also still undecided on the Vuelta, but Movistar will be represented by Alejandro Valverde, who took third in the Tour behind his teammate.