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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Tim Bonville-Ginn

Hi, I'm one of Cycling Weekly's content writers for the web team responsible for writing stories on racing, tech, updating evergreen pages as well as the weekly email newsletter. Proud Yorkshireman from the UK's answer to Flanders, Calderdale, go check out the cobbled climbs!

I started watching cycling back in 2010, before all the hype around London 2012 and Bradley Wiggins at the Tour de France. In fact, it was Alberto Contador and Andy Schleck's battle in the fog up the Tourmalet on stage 17 of the Tour de France.

It took me a few more years to get into the journalism side of things, but I had a good idea I wanted to get into cycling journalism by the end of year nine at school and started doing voluntary work soon after. This got me a chance to go to the London Six Days, Tour de Yorkshire and the Tour of Britain to name a few before eventually joining Eurosport's online team while I was at uni, where I studied journalism. Eurosport gave me the opportunity to work at the world championships in Harrogate back in the awful weather.

After various bar jobs, I managed to get my way into Cycling Weekly in late February of 2020 where I mostly write about racing and everything around that as it's what I specialise in but don't be surprised to see my name on other news stories.

When not writing stories for the site, I don't really switch off my cycling side as I watch every race that is televised as well as being a rider myself and a regular user of the game Pro Cycling Manager. Maybe too regular.

My bike is a well used Specialized Tarmac SL4 when out on my local roads back in West Yorkshire as well as in northern Hampshire with the hills and mountains being my preferred terrain.