The four wildcard teams that will ride with 18 WorldTour teams in the final Grand Tour of the 2017 season have been announced
The 22 pro cycling teams that will line up for the 2017 Vuelta a España in August were confirmed by the race organiser on Monday, including the four wildcard team selections.
French team Cofidis, Spanish outfit Caja Rural-Seguros RGA, Ireland’s Aqua Blue Sport and Colombian squad Manzana Postobon will take part in the three-week race alongside the 18 WorldTour teams, which get automatic entry to the race.
Aqua Blue are perhaps a surprise inclusion in the race, as the team is racing its first season. The Irish-registered Pro Continental squad includes British national champion Adam Blythe, who hailed the team’s selection for the 2017 Vuelta as an ‘amazing achievement’.
The 2017 Vuelta a España starts in the French city of Nîmes on Saturday, August 19 and finishes with its traditional final stage in Madrid on Sunday, September 10.
Colombian Nairo Quintana (Movistar) won the 2016 edition of the race, although it is unlikely that he will take part in the 2017 edition as he has both the Giro d’Italia and Tour de France on his race programme.
Quintana beat British triple Tour de France winner Chris Froome (Team Sky) by one minute and 23 seconds to take the victory, with Colombian Esteban Chaves (Orica-Scott) in third at 4-08.
It is unclear whether Froome will ride the Vuelta this year, but British brothers Simon and Adam Yates are due to spearhead Orica-Scott’s assault on the race as Chaves focuses on the Tour in July.
Vuelta a España 2017 teams
Ag2r La Mondiale (FRA)
Astana Pro Team (KAZ)
BMC Racing Team (USA)
Movistar Team (ESP)
Quick-Step Floors (BEL)
Team Dimension Data (RSA)
Team Katusha-Alpecin (SUI)
Team Lotto NL-Jumbo (NED)
Team Sky (GBR)
Team Sunweb (GER)
UAE Team Emirates (UAE)
Caja Rural-Seguros RGA (ESP)
Aqua Blue Sport (IRL)
Manzana Postobon Team (COL)