Vuelta a España: Esteban Chaves, Hugh Carthy, and Rigoberto Urán lead EF Education-EasyPost
American team brings a three-pronged attack into the final grand tour of the season.
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EF Education-EasyPost heads to the Vuelta a España with a three-pronged attack on the race with Esteban Chaves, Hugh Carthy, and Rigoberto Urán all as protected riders.
The American team will send a number of stage-hunters and support riders for the squad’s key climbers, with Mark Padun, James Shaw, Julius van den Berg, Jonathan Caicedo, and Merhawi Kudus making the team.
The Vuelta a España will represent Esteban Chaves’ first grand tour in EF Education colors and the Colombian is eager to reignite his stage racing career. The 32-year-old made the podium way back in 2016 but has found some form in recent months.
“It’s been some time since I have ridden a grand tour, and this one is a special one,” Chaves said.
“I’m excited to start La Vuelta. It has always treated me right, and we have a very good team this year. It will be my first grand tour with EF Education-EasyPost. This makes me a little nervous, but on the other hand, it also gives me a lot of motivation, and it encourages me to ride the best I can. We have Rigo, Hugh, and me for the GC, and we will never discard a chance for a stage win, not only with us three, but also the rest of the team.”
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Carthy finished ninth at the Giro d’Italia in May and like Chaves is s former podium finisher at the Vuelta. The English climber has not taken a win yet this season but with a race profile that suits him, the 28-year-old will be hoping to leave his mark.
“For me, personally, the Vuelta is a special race, because my career began in Spain, and my first grand tour was the Vuelta back in 2016,” Carthy said.
“My ambition is to try and do a good GC. Above all, I want to have a good performance and do my best as always. I like this year’s course. It has a wide variety of stages and a unique feel, starting in the Netherlands. It should be an exciting three weeks.”
Urán has endured a difficult season with several big crashes and a bout of COVID-19 to deal with. He came through the Tour de France and with his contract set to end at the conclusion of the season the veteran’s future is unclear. That said, the Colombian is motivated to race the Vuelta. His focus will be on the race, with his future to be decided after the race.
“I wasn’t in my best shape at the Tour and at the beginning of the season with some bad days and crashes, so I need some luck,” Urán said.
“Now, I feel good, motivated. Not only that, I’m excited to start La Vuelta because I know there won’t be a lot more opportunities for me at my age. The Vuelta is the only grand tour where I haven’t won a stage or been on the podium. After the Tour, I felt strong, and have been training a lot at home, so I’m in good shape. Hugh’s good, Chaves too. When I go to a Grand Tour, it’s because I feel good, and because I want to give my best for the team.”