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Vuelta presents 198 riders in Assen

The 64th Vuelta a España presented all 198 riders from 22 teams in Assen, Netherlands, yesterday. Olympic Champion Samuel Sánchez (Euskaltel-Euskadi) will wear race number one.

Defending champion Alberto Contador (Astana) skipped the race this year. Sánchez, Alejandro Valverde (Caisse d'Epargne), Cadel Evans (Silence-Lotto), Andy Schleck (Saxo Bank), Tom Danielson (Garmin-Slipstream) and Ivan Basso (Liquigas) are favourites for the overall win.

It is Alexander Vinokourov's first time to race a Grand Tour since he was disqualified from the 2007 Tour de France. He served a two-year suspension and returns to race with team Astana.

The Vuelta a España starts today with a 4.5-kilometre time trial. There are four stages in The Netherlands before it transfers to Spain. The last stage is in Madrid, September 20.

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