With the Vuelta a España now less than a week away, Chris Froome has picked out his main rivals on the day that Team Sky announced their line-up for the Spanish race.

The British rider, who is tipped as the favourite for the race, picked out Romain Bardet and Fabio Aru as two of his biggest rivals having pushed him hard in the Tour de France, as well as the likes of Vincenzo Nibali, Bob Jungels, and Adam Yates, who didn’t ride the Tour.

Froome also talked about the challenge posed by the tough Vuelta a España route, which includes nine summit finishes, especially after the challenges of winning the Tour de France last month.

>>> Vuelta a España 2017 start list

“With nine mountain top finishes it’s heavily weighted for the climbers but, with an individual time trial of over 40 kilometres, there could be minutes won or lost there as well,” Froome said.

“It’s a great balance between the pure climbers, and the rouleurs who can time trial. I think it’s going to be a really exciting and well-balanced race.

“I think this year in particular it’s been extremely hard, given the pressure in those last few days of the Tour. I think it was only natural to get Paris to and let go a little bit and switch off after such an intense period, so it’s been quite hard to refocus again.”

The 2017 Vuelta a España starts in Nîmes on August 19, finishing three weeks later in Madrid.

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