Team Sky are set to take a strong team to the Tour of Spain (August 20-September 11).
Bradley Wiggins will lead Team Sky as he goes in search of Vuelta victory; the line-up also includes compatriots Ian Stannard and Chris Froome.
Wiggins can rely on the likes of Froome, Morris Possoni, Dario Cioni and Tour domestique Xabier Zandio for mountain support, as well as the experience of Thomas Lofkvist and Kurt-Asle Arvesen.
Meanwhile, Mark Cavendish will be looking to take several stage wins as he winds up for the world championships in Copenhagen.
The Manxman is joined by Tour teammates Matt Goss and Tony Martin. Promising young sprinters John Degenkolb and Leigh Howard also get outings in HTC-Highroad’s valedictory Grand Tour.
Other Vuelta contenders on the provisional start list released today include Igor Anton (Euskaltel-Euskadi), Denis Menchov (Geox-TMC), Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha), Vincenzo Nibali (Liquigas) and Jurgen Vandenbroeck (Omega Pharma-Lotto).
The race gets underway with a 13.5km team time trial around Benidorm.
There are notable mountain-top finishes at Sierra Nevada, La Covatilla, the Angliru and Pena Cabarga, while the 47km tenth stage time-trial around Salamanca will play to the strengths of Wiggins.
Team Sky provisional line-up
Kurt-Asle Arvesen (Nor)
Dario Cioni (Ita)
Chris Froome (GBr)
Thomas Lofkvist (Swe)
Morris Possoni (Ita)
Ian Stannard (GBr)
Chris Sutton (Aus)
Bradley Wiggins (GBr)
Xabier Zandio (Spa)
HTC-Highroad provisional line-up
Michael Albasini (Swi)
Mark Cavendish (GBr)
John Degenkolb (Ger)
Matt Goss (Aus)
Bert Grabsch (Ger)
Leigh Howard (Aus)
Tony Martin (Ger)
Kanstantsin Sivtsov (Rus)
Martin Velits (Svk)
Vuelta a Espana 2011: Cycling Weekly’s coverage index
Vuelta 2011: provisional start list
Vuelta 2011 website