Vuelta a España: Will Ineos Grenadiers back experience or youth with Rodríguez, Hayter and Plapp in contention?

An attacking line up could include a number of race debutants.

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The 2022 Vuelta a España starts in just under a fortnight and Ineos Grenadiers is busy putting the finishing touches to its eight-rider roster. The team has yet to be confirmed but VeloNews understands that the long list currently includes 11 riders with a mix of grand tour veterans and possible debutants in the mix. Egan Bernal, as expected, is not in contention to make the team.

Richard Carapaz, second in 2020, and the runner-up in this year’s Giro d’Italia is expected to start in what will be his final grand tour before moving to EF-Education EasyPost. It’s unclear if Carapaz will be the sole leader or if the team will aim to fight on several fronts.

Also read: Egan Bernal not racing Burgos and the Vuelta a España remains uncertain

Tao Geoghegan Hart is also in the mix for a place on the team, although it not certain whether the former Giro d’Italia winner will be given a leadership role. The British rider missed out on selection for both the Giro d’Italia and the Tour de France earlier this year but has put in some solid displays in weeklong races this year, including a top-ten in the Criterium du Dauphine.

Ethan Hayter is certain to make the team after his Tour of Poland win, while Pavel Sivakov’s recent form has put him into contention. The Frenchman wasn’t initially down for the race but with Michal Kwiatkowski set to miss the race through injury the 25-year-old has moved himself into the minds of the team management.

Carlos Rodríguez, 21, is likely to make his grand tour debut and will mix stage hunting with team support and gaining valuable three-week experience.

Luke Plapp, who only turned pro this year, is also on the long-list for the race and could make his grand tour debut. The Australian has finished inside the top-ten in both of his last two stage races, and picked up a solid fifth in the Commonwealth Games time trial last week.

Dylan Van Baarle might be on his way to Jumbo-Visma next year but the Dutch rider is on the long-list and could make the team. Laurens De Plus hasn’t started a grand tour since the 2019 Tour de France, but the Belgian is a maybe too. He would almost certainly ride as a solid mountain domestique if selected.

Ben Turner, Salvatore Puccoio, and Omar Fraile are the other names in contention.

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