Ireland’s Nicolas Roche is among the cyclists chosen by BMC Racing Team in a strong and experienced squad for the year’s final Grand Tour, the Vuelta a España, which begins on Saturday, 19th August.
Sports Director Yvon Ledanois said the team has multiple objectives at the third Grand Tour of the season.
“We are lining up at the Vuelta a España with one of the strongest rosters we have named in recent years. As a result, we have a number of different goals for the race. To start with, the Team Time Trial in Nimes is a big objective for us. Team Time Trials are always an important discipline for BMC Racing Team, but here at the Vuelta a España, a good result means starting the three-week race with good morale and motivation, and potentially the leader’s jersey,” Ledanois explained.
“For the General Classification, we have a number of riders who can be up there, including Tejay van Garderen, Nicolas Roche and Samuel Sánchez. These riders are very motivated for a good result overall so we will take things day by day and see how the race plays out. I would like to see aggressive racing from all of our riders and with guys like Damiano Caruso, Alessandro De Marchi and Rohan Dennis, we have a good chance for stage wins. In Daniel Oss and Francisco Ventoso, we have two strong riders who will play an important role in protecting our leaders, and for Kilian Frankiny, who will make his Grand Tour debut, this will be a good learning experience for the future.”
BMC Racing Team’s nine riders collectively have 14 Vuelta a España stage wins and seven top ten General Classification results from 26 participations to their names, with only Frankiny and Oss set to make their debut.
The 72nd edition of the Vuelta a España starts on Saturday, August 19th with a 13.8km Team Time Trial in Nîmes, France and finishes on Sunday, September 10th with the traditional sprinters’ stage in Madrid.
Each member BMC Racing Team spoke ahead of this weekend’s Grand Tour. Here are some of their thoughts:
Nicolas Roche (IRL)
“I’m always looking forward to the Vuelta a España because it’s probably my favourite race of the year. I’m excited to start the race for the seventh time in my career and I hope to do well on both a team and personal level. I think we have a strong team and it will be nice to get things underway with the Team Time Trial. The Vuelta is always tough and this year is no exception so we will take things day by day.”
Damiano Caruso (ITA)
“I have some really good memories from the Vuelta a España. The last time I raced was in 2014 when I was ninth on the General Classification. This year, the route is very hard with a lot of climbing and some nervous stages. My goal for the race is to help the team and try to win a stage.”
Alessandro De Marchi (ITA)
“I come into the Vuelta a España after a good period of rest and work. The season has been good but not like I have wanted it to go. The Vuelta is a race I love and has always given me great emotions. It’s the race in which I was re-born after a long and bad injury. I like to start the last part of the season with this race as it allows you to continue with strong motivation to the end of the season and be ready for the last, big races. It’s always a race that has hard days but it’s also open to riders who like to play and take risk. Personally, it’s going to be a race of freedom. I would like to look for some good stages where I can really do the race I like. Obviously, the start with a Team Time Trial is really important for the team and I will give the maximum effort. I’m really happy to race and I’ll try to enjoy every single moment.”
Rohan Dennis (AUS)
“I am lining up at the Vuelta a España with a pretty loose General Classification objective. My goals are going for some stage wins and hopefully I will be able to test myself in the mountain stages against the General Classification guys.”
Kilian Frankiny (SUI)
“First of all, I’m very excited for my first Grand Tour. To race my first Grand Tour in my first pro year makes it very special for me as I never thought I would do one in my first year and with such a strong team, it’s an honour. It will be a big challenge, but I’m looking forward to it! My first goal is a good Team Time Trial on the first day. The whole race I hope to learn a lot and gain more experience for the future. I hope to get a good result on one of the climbing stages and to help the team as much as possible, before arriving with the whole team in Madrid.”
Daniel Oss (ITA)
“After five times at the Tour de France and three times at the Giro d’Italia, this is my first Vuelta a España. I expect I will enjoy it and I hope we can have some good results as a team. The Team Time Trial is really important for us and it’s a discipline that I love, so I hope we can start the three weeks of racing with a strong result here. As the race progresses, I’ll be there to help our leaders as we make our way towards Madrid.”
Samuel Sánchez (ESP)
“This year’s edition of La Vuelta a España has very demanding routes with many steep climbs and towns visited for the first time. We will have to live day by day as many stages will require superior mental and physical strength. We bring a quite balanced team to fight for stages and try to be on top. For me, this is a chance to forget last year’s bad experiences and do a good result this year.”
Tejay van Garderen (USA)
“The Vuelta a España was my first grand tour back in 2010. I love the warm weather and beautiful Spanish scenery. It’s a tough course with lots of steep uphill finishes that lends many different opportunities for attacks and an explosive style of racing. I’d like to try and climb as high as possible on the General Classification, and hopefully challenge for a stage victory. We also have a strong team to challenge for the team classification which would be a huge honour to win.”
Francisco Ventoso (ESP)
“As a Spanish rider, the Vuelta a España is always a pleasure and this year even more so, because we have three stages in my region of Cantabria. This year there are a lot of climbs, 11 I think, so for sure it will be pretty hard with spectacular finals for the spectators. For me, the first goal is to help the team in the Team Time Trial and hopefully take the jersey. After that, I will help the team and support the captains throughout the race and for sure, I will enjoy the roads, the people and the team.”