Chris Froome will bid to put his Tour de France disappointment behind him by leading Team Sky at this year’s Vuelta a Espana.
The 29-year-old has recovered from the injury which forced him to quit the defence of the yellow jersey and has been installed as the 13/8 second favourite with Ladbrokes for Vuelta glory.
And Froome, who finished second in the 2011 edition of the race, is in a confident mood ahead of his comeback.
“This is exactly the sort of challenge that I need,” Froome said.
“You can’t dwell on disappointment, you have to move on quickly and the Vuelta is the perfect race to focus on.”
The Team Sky leader was forced to pull out on Stage 5 of this year’s Tour de France after multiple heavy falls left him nursing fractures to both his wrist and hand.
But the Briton has made a full recovery and is ready to take on race favourite Nairo Quintana (21/20) for another Grand Tour victory.
“I’m really pleased with how my recovery has gone since the Tour,” Froome added.
“I’m a little bit light on racing days this year so getting a Grand Tour under my belt will not only help me now, but it will also help my preparation for next year.”
Froome will be supported by Peter Kennaugh, Luke Rowe, Philip Deignan, Mikel Nieve, Vasil Kiryienka, Kanstantsin Siutsou, Christian Knees and Dario Cataldo as he bids to add to the one stage victory at the Vuelta he achieved in 2011.
It’s still not fully clear who might join the Kenyan-born cyclist on the start line in the race for the red jersey but Quintana, who missed the Tour de France to focus on this race, is certainly his main danger.
Climbing specialist Joaquim Rodriguez and Alberto Contador, who is recovering from injuries of his own, are both 7/1 shots at glory, while former winner Alejandro Valverde is available at odds of 20/1.
One man not joining Froome in the peloton is Sir Bradley Wiggins. The 2012 Tour de France winner will defend his Tour of Britain crown in September rather than ride in the three-week tour of Spain.
Full Vuelta a Espana odds: Nairo Quintana 21/20, Chris Froome 13/8, Joaquim Rodriguez 7/1, Alberto Contador 7/1, Alejandro Valverde 20/1, Christoper Horner 25/1,Rigoberto Uran 28/1,Fabio Aru 33/1, Daniel Martin 50/1, Thibaut Pinot 50/1. Other available on request.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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