Enric Mas, Miguel Ángel López and Alejandro Valverde lead the line at Vuelta a España for Movistar

The usual trident of leaders is back again for the Spanish Grand Tour

Movistar Team
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Movistar Team has announced the eight riders they are taking to the Vuelta a España 2021, including three potential leaders.

The Spanish team, who will be riding their 42nd Vuelta in a row, will be taking three riders who could potentially go for the red jersey in Miguel Ángel López, Enric Mas and Alejandro Valverde.

After a disappointing Tour de France from López and Valverde and a sixth-place overall from Mas thanks to a late showing of form in the Pyrenees, they will be hoping to be in the mix for the win at their home Grand Tour.

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Out of the three this season, Mas has had the most success with the Tour result as well as 11th in the Critérium du Dauphiné and third in the Mont Ventoux Challenge and Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana.

Valverde had most of his success in the Ardennes with a third, fourth and fifth in the three hilly races. A few weeks before he took his only win of the season so far at the Gran Premio Miguel Indurain and fourth in the Volta a Catalunya behind the Ineos Grenadiers trio of Adam Yates, Geraint Thomas and Richie Porte.

Finally, López has had a mixed season. He won the Mont Ventoux challenge with a super-fast ascent on the 'Giant of Provence' as well as the overall win the Vuelta a Andalucía and sixth in the Dauphiné. López had to abandon the Tour on stage 19 so he could focus on the Olympic Games, where he didn't really feature.

The rest of the team is made from a mix of solid climbing domestiques and powerhouses for the flatter stages.

As mountain support they have Carlos Verona and Nelson Oliveira, and the flat support is made up of Johan Jacobs, José Joaquín Rojas and former Paris-Roubaix top-10 finisher Imanol Erviti.

But it is going to be a very tough task to take the title with multiple teams bringing some of their biggest and best names for the general classification.

Primož Roglič (Jumbo-Visma) returns after yet more Tour disappointment to try and win his third Vuelta in a row, Ineos Grenadiers are likely bringing Egan Bernal, Adam Yates, Pavel Sivakov, Dani Martínez and possibly even Richard Carapaz in their line-up.

Not to mention Aleksandr Vlasov (Astana-Premier Tech), Max Schachmann (Bora-Hansgrohe), Hugh Carthy andRigoberto Urán (both EF-Nippo), Mikel Landa (Bahrain Victorious), Giulio Ciccone (Trek-Segafredo), Romain Bardet (DSM), Guillaume Martin (Cofidis) and Jay Vine (Alpecin-Fenix) all of whom are on the provisional start list.

The Vuelta a España starts on Saturday, August 14 with a prologue around the city of Burgos, starting inside the cathedral before winding around Spain for three weeks and finishing in the famous pilgrimage city of Santiago de Compostela with a 33.7km time trial.

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