Löfkvist to lead Team Sky at the Vuelta a Espana

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The Swedish rider Thomas Löfkvist, who was Team Sky's best-placed rider in the Tour de France, will be the team leader for the Vuelta a Espana.

The third grand tour of the season starts in Seville on Saturday, August 28.

Three young British riders will also be part of the nine-man team. Ben Swift and Ian Stannard, who have both ridden the Giro d'Italia before, and first-year professional Peter Kennaugh are in the team.

Simon Gerrans of Australia, who was forced to pull out of the Tour when he cracked a bone in his arm, will have a free reign to go for stage wins.

Spaniard Juan Antonio Flecha, South African John-Leee Augustyn, Finland's Kjell Carlstrom and Norway's Lar-Petter Nordhaug complete the line-up.

Britain's Russell Downing will ride the Tour of Britain and it looks like Edvald Boasson Hagen will lead the squad at the two new ProTour races in Canada.

Downing is one of a handful of riders who will end Team Sky's first season without one of the three grand tours (the Giro d'Italia and Tour de France are the others) under his belt. The others are Kurt-Asle Arvesen, Sylvain Calzati, Nicolas Portal and Davide Vigano.

For more on Team Sky's plans for the late summer, see Thursday's Cycling Weekly magazine.

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