Aqua Blue Sport, Ireland’s first UCI Professional Continental cycling team which was launched in January 2017, has chosen a strong balanced team of climbing experts and sprint focused riders for the team’s first Vuelta a España.
Rick Delaney, owner of Aqua Blue Sport, said that the Vuelta start will be a dream come true for the young Irish project:
“All of us here at Aqua Blue Sport, in the competitive side and in the eCommerce venture at www.aquabluesport.com are all incredibly excited to be part of this fantastic event. We dreamed at the start of the year that we would get a start at a Grand Tour – to think that has come to fruition is extraordinary. The team we are sending is a very strong, solid team with riders who can compete on all terrain. We are looking forward to see Aqua Blue Sport out on the roads and who knows, we might just pull off the ultimate dream – a stage win. Watch this space.”
The nine rider team is as follows: Adam Blythe, Mark Christian, Conor Dunne, Aaron Gate, Peter Koning, Michel Kreder, Lasse Norman Hansen, Larry Warbasse and Stefan Denifl.
Larry Warbasse won a stage at this year’s Tour de Suisse and won the United States Road Race Championships.
Austrian Stefan Denifl was the overall victor at the Tour of Austria.
British sprinter Adam Blythe will focus on the sprint stages looking to break his four second place run this season.
Danish rider Lasse Norman Hansen finished on the podium of the Dwars Door West-Vlaanderen Johan Museeuw Classic and was the overall winner of the climber’s jersey at the Tour de Suisse.
New Zealander Aaron Gate won silver at the World Track Championships in the Omnium.
Irish rider Conor Dunne achieved a number of podium places with most notably a third-place finish at the Irish National Championships.
Michel Kreder has just finished on the podium with a third place overall at the Arctic Tour of Norway.
Mark Christian has performed well in the GC role in his first year Pro Continental level including seventh at Tour of Yorkshire and 14th at Baloise Belgium Tour.
Peter Koning, a Time Trial specialist, will be in the engine room of the sprint lead out train for Blythe and will hunt for breakaways.
There will be extensive TV coverage of the final Grand Tour of the season on Eurosport and ITV4.