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Simon Yates and BikeExchange-Jayco target overall victory at Vuelta a España

NAPOLI, ITALY - MAY 14: Simon Yates of United Kingdom and Team BikeExchange - Jayco competes during the 105th Giro d'Italia 2022, Stage 8 a 153km stage from Napoli to Napoli / #Giro / #WorldTour / on May 14, 2022 in Napoli, Italy. (Photo by Tim de Waele/Getty Images)
Simon Yates leads BikeExchange-Jayco at the Vuelta a España (Image credit: Tim de Waele/Getty Images)

Simon Yates will lead BikeExchange-Jayco at the Vuelta a España, targeting a second overall victory, while Kaden Groves gives the Australian WorldTour team options in the sprint stages.

Yates won the Vuelta in 2018 but has focused on the Giro d’Italia and Tour de France since then, taking third overall in the 2021 Giro. 

He failed to finish this year’s Giro after an early crash and then suffering with knee pain. However, he is back on form and recently won the Vuelta a Castilla y Leon stage race and the Ordiziako Klasika one-day race. 

He recently extended his contract with BikeExchange-Jayco until 2024 after team owner Gerry Ryan opted to back the team for a further three-years.

Yates will have the support of Australian climber Lucas Hamilton, US national time trial champion Lawson Craddock, Callum Scotson and Vuelta debutants Michael Hepburn and Luke Durbridge. 

Groves makes his Grand Tour debut but showed his sprinting potential with a stage win at the Volta Ciclista a Catalunya. Track specialist Kelland O’Brien will help Groves in the sprints, while also working for Yates.

BikeExchange-Jayco are in the battle to avoid relegation from the WorldTour. A podium finish and stage wins by Yates would go a long way to securing the team's place in the 2023 WorldTour.   

"We are going there to win, the team has had a great season so far, so the morale is high, and we are all motivated to finish the season off well with this last Grand Tour," Yates said.

"I’m looking forward to the Vuelta this year, of course I have great memories from the race after the win in 2018, so it is always special to return. 

"It is going to be a really hard edition, starting with a TTT but we have a really strong team and I think we can get the tour off to a good start with this stage in particular and the strength in the team line-up that we have.

"After the Giro I had time to recover and rebuild and it was good to start back racing again in Castilla y Leon and San Sebastian, so I am feeling ready for the Vuelta now. There’s a lot of climbing, especially in northern Spain and in general, it looks like a really hard and challenging course."

The 2022 Vuelta a España begins with a 23.3km team time trial in Utrecht in the Netherlands and two other flat but exposed road stages before transferring to northern Spain. There are more rolling stages before a trio of summit finishes on stages 6, 8 and 9, while an important and testing individual time trial comes after the first rest day and a long transfer to the south of Spain. There are a further four summit finishes, with sprint stages sprinkled throughout the route before the traditional final road race stage in central Madrid.

“We head to the third and final Grand Tour of the season with high motivation after enjoying a successful season so far with stage wins in both the Giro and the Tour de France,” team manager Brent Copeland said.  

“For the Vuelta we have a fairly young team with some riders making their Grand Tour debuts and it is exciting for us as an organisation to see what they can do. With great options to challenge for stage wins in the climbs and on the flat, we believe we have put together a really strong team that is very diverse and can achieve a lot in this Spanish Tour.”

BikeExchange-Jayco for the Vuelta a España:

  • Simon Yates
  • Kaden Groves
  • Luke Durbridge
  • Michael Hepburn
  • Lawson Craddock
  • Lucas Hamilton
  • Kelland O’Brien
  • Callum Scotson

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