By Paul Verkuylen
Dutch ProTour team Rabobank has named its nine riders that will take to the start in Spain on the September 1. Spaniard Oscar Freire will line up for his second Grand Tour this year, and will be targeting the mass sprints, surely with a fourth world title in the back of his mind.
Denis Menchov will be looking to improve on his performance in the Tour de France this year. The 2005 Vuelta winner was denied the chance to stand atop the final podium, as Roberto Heras (Liberty Seguros-Würth Team) was not disqualified until after the race.
Theo Eltink is another rider to watch out for, the young Dutch climber has been gradually improving over the years. In 2005 he finished 29th in the Giro, his first ever Grand Tour, then last year saw him finish in a little further down in 55th overall, but in his second Grand Tour of 2006, the Vuelta, he rode strongly to finish 24th and the first Rabobank rider on general classification.
Eltink missed out on selection for the Rabobank Tour de France squad this year, after suffering with illness in the lead up to the event, so will be looking to prove to them that he is more than capable in a three week race.
Rabobank for the Vuelta a Espana: Oscar Freire, Denis Menchov, Theo Eltink, Joost Posthuma, Pedro Horrillo, Sébastian Langeveld, Koos Moerenhout, Mauricio Ardila, Marc de Maar
Reserves: Dmitriy Kozontchuk, Thorwald Veneberg, and Gerben Löwik.