The Vuelta a España is just around the corner with some of the biggest names in the sport all set to take to the start line.
This includes seven British riders at five different teams, who will be setting off down the start ramp in Burgos for the opening prologue on Saturday, August 14.
Ineos Grenadiers are bringing the most British riders with two, EF Education-Nippo, Alpecin-Fenix, Lotto-Soudal and Deceuninck - Quick-Step are the others.
Adam Yates - Ineos Grenadiers
Adam Yates was one of the strongest starters for the Ineos Grenadiers at the beginning of the season with a very impressive second place at the UAE Tour behind Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates), who was put under a lot of pressure by the British rider.
He then went on to comfortably win the Volta a Catalunya, taking a stage win as well as the overall ahead of team-mates, Geraint Thomas and Richie Porte.
After that he didn't quite find the same form, taking a solid fourth overall in the Tour of the Basque Country followed by two top 20 riders in Flèche Wallonne and Liège-Bastogne-Liège. He then took a break from racing and didn't return until the Olympic road race in Japan where he placed ninth.
It was then off to Spain for the Clásica San Sebastián and 27th place with him and team-mate Egan Bernal both struggling to get near the front. The final build-up race for the Vuelta a España, the Vuelta a Burgos came with him and Bernal as the big favourites, but they both got caught out in a crash, meaning they had to focus on Pavel Sivakov in the fight for the GC.
Tom Pidcock - Ineos Grenadiers
The most recent headlines for Tom Pidcock of course came from his stunning gold medal winning display in the cross country mountain biking at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, but it is back to the road side of the sport now and his Grand Tour debut.
Pidcock, who is 22-years-old, has put in an extraordinary ride in his first season at WorldTour level with five of his first 13 races seeing him achieve top five results including a win at Brabantse Pijl where he beat Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma), second at Amstel Gold Race behind Van Aert by the width of a hair as well as an amazing third at Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne behind Mads Pedersen (Trek-Segafredo) and Anthony Turgis (TotalEnergies).
All but one of his races for Ineos, however, have been one day races with only his first race for the team, Tour des Alpes Maritimes et du Var, being a stage race, so this may be a bit of a shock to the system. However, there are multiple stages that could suit the Yorkshireman's credentials.
Hugh Carthy - EF Education-Nippo
Last year's third overall at the Vuelta, Hugh Carthy comes into this with quite a bit more expectation than previous years. The pure climber from Preston in Lancashire has shown some great form in his last build-up race though.
The Vuelta a Burgos was a mixed bag for Carthy, but he pulled it all together on the final stage to win on the summit of the Lagunas de Neila ahead of a star studded field including Bernal, both Adam (both Ineos Grenadiers) and Simon Yates (BikeExchange), Romain Bardet (DSM), eventual winner Mikel Landa (Bahrain Victorious).
Carthy had a solid ride in the Giro d'Italia at the start of the year with the Brit managing eighth overall in the final general classification. He did look to be possibly going for a podium spot but a couple of mountain stages in the final week saw him lose too much time.
Before that he was equally solid with a third in his first race of the year at the Faun-Ardèche Classic, eighth at the Volta a Catalunya, 12th at the Tour of the Basque Country and fifth at the Tour of the Alps.
Simon Carr - EF Education-Nippo
It's been an excellent WorldTour debut season so far for Simon Carr. The Hereford born rider who has dual nationality with Great Britain and France has shown he could develop into one of the best climbers around.
Carr, who is 22-years-old, started the season the way he wanted to go on with an attacking display at the GP Marseillaise where he finished 24th. After that, he improved through every stage of the Tour des Alpes Maritimes et du Var to finish 19th.
A trio of one-day races followed ending with an amazing 11th place in his first WorldTour race of Strade Bianche. He continued his racing at the top level at Tirreno-Adriatico finishing 39th overall but also taking eighth place at the summit finish on stage four.
He played a key team-mate role in the Ardennes Classics and then headed to the Giro d'Italia in support of fellow Brit, Carthy. His best placing was 40th on the Monte Zoncolan stage, but he wasn't there for the big results. He helped Carthy to eighth overall.
More top 10s followed as well as a key move in the Clásica San Sebastián which drew out the winning move including eventual winner and team-mate, Neilson Powless. Not the best of showings in his last race, Vuelta a Burgos, but he is still a vital cog for Carthy.
James Knox - Deceuninck - Quick-Step
James Knox, much like Carthy, is set to ride his second Grand Tour of the season after the Giro earlier in the year where he finished 53rd after supporting both Remco Evenepoel and later João Almeida for Deceuninck - Quick-Step.
He has only races once since the Giro at the Clásica San Sebastián where he finished 30th supporting his team-mate Mikkel Honoré who pulled off third place on the day.
Knox has played the support role throughout the season with his best results being two seventh places, one at the Trofeo Laigueglia and the other on stage three of the Tour of the Basque Country, followed by an eighth place a day later on his way to 14th overall.
The Cumbrian rider has yet to take a win in his career but has shown he is an excellent and dependable rider in the mountains.
Matt Holmes - Lotto-Soudal
Matt Holmes' second season in the WorldTour has been a solid one yet again despite not finishing all four of his first four races he did start to build on his form.
A strong showing at the Tour de Romandie did lead to another two DNFs but he came back with a bang at the Critérium du Dauphiné where he wore the mountains jersey for a few days before finishing in fourth in that competition.
After that he went into a team role at the Tour de Wallonie with the same at the Vuelta a Castila y Leon and Clásica San Sebastián.
This will be Holmes' second Grand Tour after he rode and completed the Giro in 2020, he will be hoping for another good display at the Vuelta.
Scott Thwaites - Alpecin-Fenix
Last but not least, Yorkshireman Scott Thwaites is set to ride his third Grand Tour with him being a key component in the lead-out train for star Belgian sprinter Jasper Philipsen at Alpecin-Fenix.
Thwaites hasn't raced much this season with just six races under his belt, one of which he was unable to finish in Ghent-Wevelgem.
But he has played key roles as a team-mate in the other five, Paris-Nice was his first race and saw his second highest placing of 27th place on the second stage.
He also rode at the Classic Brugge-De Panne, Vuelta a Andalusia, Boucles de la Mayenne where he got his best result of 26th on the final stage and most recently the Vuelta a Burgos.
The 31-year-old is likely going to be part of the set-up for Philipsen's lead-out train on the sprint stage, of which there is an unusually high amount of in this year's Vuelta.
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