As already announced, Samuel Sanchez has been given the leadership role, while Tejay van Garderen will be another ‘protected rider’. The American targeted the Tour de France in July but fell away as the race wore on. The Vuelta offers him another chance to possibly rediscover the form that landed him two top-five places in the Tour in 2012 and 2014.
"We have chosen a strong, balanced team built around Samuel Sánchez and Tejay van Garderen. Sánchez is our leader for the General Classification and van Garderen is another protected rider,” BMC’s Valerio Piva said in a press release.
The rest of the team will target stage wins but there is no place for Taylor Phinney. The US national time trial champion had a poor outing at the Olympics but had been hopeful of earning a Vuelta spot on the team.
There are however spots for Philippe Gilbert, who leaves the team at the end of the season, and Darwin Atapuma, who won a stage at the Tour de Suisse in June.
The rest of the team comprises of Silvan Dillier, Jempy Drucker, Ben Hermans, Dylan Teuns, and Danilo Wyss.
“The rest of the riders have been selected for their ability to win stages. Riders like Philippe Gilbert, Ben Hermans, Silvan Dillier, and Danilo Wyss are all capable of going in a breakaway and trying to win a stage. Of course all nine are really good riders and we have a strong team who will help protect Sanchez and position him well," Piva said.
"I believe we will bring a very competent and focused team for what will be a very hard Vuelta a Espãna," added Sanchez said.
The Vuelta a Espana kick off on August 20 with 29.4km team time trial from Balneario Laias to Castrelo de Mino. As reigning world champions in the discipline, BMC Racing will be going all out for the first leader’s jersey of the race.
"The first objective for us is the team time trial. It's a tradition in our team and as the UCI World Champions in the discipline we want to do well, which means we will try to win this and take the first leader's jersey," Piva said.
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