Vincenzo Nibali has confirmed he will ride the Vuelta a España, starting August 22, with Astana naming three potential general classification contenders in in their squad.
Nibali will join the Kazakh team’s Giro d’Italia podium finishers Fabio Aru and Mikel Landa after finishing fourth in the Tour de France, which finished on July 26.
“At the Vuelta I will be with Fabio Aru [and] Landa and all the Astana all the Astana team, showing we are united for one goal,” Nibali wrote on Twitter.
It’s unclear who will be the leader in the GC battle on the Astana team, with Aru and Landa coming in fresh having not raced since the end of the Giro but Astana manager Guiseppe Martinelli told Cycling Weekly that there will not be a single leader.
“We have two or three big riders, I’m not going to name one as the leader,” he said. “With all three of them, though, we have a team that can take on and beat Quintana or Froome. I expect they will be there for a re-match after the Tour.”
Nibali struggled in his attempt to retain his Tour de France title, coming unstuck on the early climbs in the Pyrenees leaving him out of contention by the time the race reached the Alps.
An opportunistic attack saw him win up La Toussuire but it was too little too late for his GC aspirations.
He has raced the Vuelta three times in his career, winning it at the first attempt in 2010 and coming second in his last appearance in 2013.
Aru made his debut in the race last year, finishing fifth and winning two stages having claimed third place in the Giro d’Italia in the spring.
Check out Vincenzo Nibali’s Tour de France bike