Caja Rural, Cofidis, Direct Energie and Bora-Argon 18 are handed wildcards for the 2016 Vuelta a España

Hugh Carthy’s chances of riding at the Vuelta a España are boosted by the news that his Caja Rural-Seguros RGA squad are among four teams handed wildcards for the race.

The 21-year-old Lancastrian is on fine form this season, winning the overall title at the Vuelta Asturias this weekend and taking the youth classification at the Volta a Catalunya after a string of impressive performances.

There were few surprises when the wildcards were announced for the Vuelta, which starts on August 20, with French duo Cofidis and Direct Energie, and German team Bora-Argon 18 also selected.

Cofidis will probably be hunting for stage wins with sprinter Nacer Bouhanni, who has won four races this year, including two in Catalunya. Bora-Argon 18 may also be in the hunt for sprint wins, with Irish fastman Sam Bennett.

Caja Rural’s place at the Vuelta was almost guaranteed, with the squad being the only Spanish team in the UCI Pro Continental ranks. The other three wildcards will also take a squad to the Tour de France in July.