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Vuelta a Espana announces its 22 teams for 2012

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The Vuelta a Espana peloton rolls along

The Vuelta a Espana peloton rolls along (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Marcel Kittel before the start of stage 4

Marcel Kittel before the start of stage 4 (Image credit: Fotoreporter Sirotti)
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David Moncoutie (Cofidis) on the podium.

David Moncoutie (Cofidis) on the podium. (Image credit: Fotoreporter Sirotti)

Twenty two teams will be at the start of the Vuelta a Espana on August 18 in Pamplona. All 18 WorldTour teams will take part, as will four Professional Continental teams. Race organiser Unipublic announced on Monday afternoon that the wildcard invitations had been issued to Andalucia, Caja Rural, Cofidis and Argos-Shimano.

Andalucia and Caja Rural are the only two Spanish Professional Continental teams, and will most likely participate in as many escape groups as possible. Andalucia featured in the 2011 Vuelta.

Cofidis features David Moncoutie, who has won the mountains classification at the Vuelta for the last four years. He also has four Vuelta stage wins under his belt.

Argos-Shimano can look to German sprinter Marcel Kittel, who last year took his first Grand Tour stage win in the Vuelta, when the team rode under the name Skil-Shimano.

“La Vuelta is a major, important race. Our cyclists, our staff and our sponsors are anxiously looking forward to this. We would like to thank the organizer for his faith in us,” said team manger Iwan Spekenbrink.

“We have a strong team, who will start at Pamplona with ambition,” said co-manager Sissy van Alebeek. “We will attempt to contend for success with a strong collective, via the attack or in the sprint.”