Ineos Grenadiers will head to the Vuelta a España this week with a team that combines youth and experience, with Richard Carapaz expected to lead.
Four riders will make their Grand Tour debut on Friday, with Ethan Hayter, Luke Plapp, Ben Turner and Carlos Rodríguez all set to start in Utrecht.
Hayer and Turner are both 23, while Rodríguez and Plapp are 21, making this an incredibly young squad for the three-week race. In fact, thanks to this weighting of youth, the team's average age will be just 24.9.
The team's statement also confirmed that this will be the last Grand Tour that Carapaz races for the team. The former Giro d'Italia winner finished second at this year's Giro, and third at the Tour de France last year. He also finished second at the 2020 Vuelta, behind Primož Roglič.
Rod Ellingworth, Deputy Team Principal said: “Our team for the Vuelta is a really exciting one; a great mix of experience and youth, which we believe will produce some outstanding racing.
“To have four Grand Tour debutants in Carlos, Luke, Ethan and Ben reinforces the belief we have in the quality of our young riders and we know that they’ll provide fantastic support for Richie in his last Grand Tour with us. All four have impressed in 2022 and this will be the next big step in their development at the very highest level.
“As a previous [Grand Tour] winner, and having placed second in 2020, we’re looking forward to Richie drawing on that experience and leading the team as the race heads for Madrid, in what undoubtedly will be a very exciting edition of the Vuelta."
Alongside the five already mentioned will be Pavel Sivakov and Tao Geoghegan Hart, who will offer support in the mountains, and also possibly another general classification angle, and Dylan van Baarle, the experienced Dutchman providing cover on the flat.
"Dylan, Pavel and Tao provide invaluable experience to complete a group we believe can deliver some incredible moments in the final Grand Tour of a brilliant season," Ellingworth said.
"I know that the riders and the staff will be going all out to finish this part of our campaign on a high, and we look forward to a successful race together.”
Hayter told Cycling Weekly that he will be aiming for stage wins at the race, and is an outside shout for the points jersey, while Rodríguez is a future GC hope for Spain, and so will be hoping to deliver at his home Grand Tour.
The Vuelta begins in Utrecht, The Netherlands, on Friday.
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