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Vuelta a Espana: Talansky heads up Cannondale-Drapac roster

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Andrew Talansky (Cannondale-Drapac) crosses the finish line in Park City

Andrew Talansky (Cannondale-Drapac) crosses the finish line in Park City (Image credit: Jonathan Devich/epicimages.us)
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Andrew Talansky (Cannondale) takes over the yellow jersey heading into the final stage

Andrew Talansky (Cannondale) takes over the yellow jersey heading into the final stage (Image credit: Jonathan Devich/epicimages.us)
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US champ Andrew Talansky (Cannondale)

US champ Andrew Talansky (Cannondale) (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Joe Dombrowski (Cannondale) after 2016 Leadville 100

Joe Dombrowski (Cannondale) after 2016 Leadville 100 (Image credit: Dejan Smaic / Sportif Images)
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Cannondale's Ben King crosses the line having lost the race lead

Cannondale's Ben King crosses the line having lost the race lead (Image credit: Jonathan Devich/epicimages.us)
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Andrew Talansky on his way to finishing second during stage 17.

Andrew Talansky on his way to finishing second during stage 17.

As expected, a reinvigorated  Andrew Talansky will lead the Cannondale-Drapac team at the Vuelta a Espana, which begins in Ourense, in northern Spain, with a team time trial on Saturday.

Joining the 2014 Critérium du Dauphiné winner will be fellow Americans Joe Dombrowski and Ben King, Italians Moreno Moser, Davide Formolo and Davide Villela, Australian Simon Clarke, Kiwi Patrick Bevin and French climber Pierre Rolland, who lead the Cannondale-Drapac team at the Tour de France.

Talansky showed sparks of his old form at the Tour of Utah earlier this month, winning the queen stage and finishing third overall, the kind of results that have been conspicuously absent from his palmares since his crash in the 2014 Tour de France. He said he is looking forward to tackling the for Vuelta the fifth time after opting to miss the Tour de France.

"I am really looking forward to the entire three weeks of racing, taking it day by day, and I'm excited to see where I can end up when we arrive to Madrid," Talansky said, when the team line-up was confirmed.

The Vuelta's main challenges begin with the HC ascent of Lagos de Covadonga on stage 10, followed by the summit finish on the Col d'Aubisque on stage 14, a short but intense 118.5km mountain stage the next day and, after the second rest day, two more summit finishes and a 37km individual time trial making for a tough last week.

"I am usually my best in the third week, so having some harder stages back loaded like that leaves a lot of opportunity to move up the standings at the very end of the race," Talansky said.

Cannondale-Drapac for the Vuelta a España: Patrick Bevin, Simon Clarke, Joe Dombrowski, Davide Formolo, Ben King, Moreno Moser, Pierre Rolland, Andrew Talansky, Davide Villella.