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Vuelta a España officials confirmed there will be three Spanish wildcard teams on the startline of its race this August 19.
Invites were handed to Equipo Kern Pharma, Burgos BH, and the long-running Basque outfit Euskaltel-Euskadi. Stalwart Spanish squad Caja Rural-Seguros RGA missed out.
As per UCI regulation, all 18 WorldTour teams, including the Jumbo-Visma crew of defending champ Primož Roglič, received automatic invites.
Alpecin-Fenix and Arkéa-Samsic were also automatic selections as a result of them topping the ProTeam classification in 2021, opening the door to the likes of Mathieu van der Poel and Nairo Quintana.
The selection of three wildcards comes as a quirk for 2022. While UCI regulations rule that 22 teams should line out in total for grand tours, Vuelta organizers requested an increase to 23 making for a startlist stacked with 184 riders.
The inclusion of the orange-clad Euskaltel team ensures the squad’s fervent following will be seen lining the climbs when the race dives into the Basque Country immediately after its three-day Danish start.
“Thank you very much for giving us the opportunity to prove our worth for another year alongside the best teams in the world,” the team wrote on Twitter.
— La Vuelta (@lavuelta) March 14, 2022
2022 Vuelta a España teams:
Ag2r Citroën Team (FRA)
Astana Qazaqstan Team (KAZ)
Bahrain Victorious (BHR)
EF Education-EasyPost (USA)
Ineos Grenadiers (GBR)
Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux (BEL)
Israel Premier Tech (ISR)
Lotto Soudal (BEL)
Movistar Team (ESP)
Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl Team (BEL)
Team BikeExchange-Jayco (AUS)
Team DSM (NED)
UAE Team Emirates (UAE)
Equipo Kern Pharma (ESP)