Andy Fenn will start his first Grand Tour on Saturday after being named in an Omega Pharma-QuickStep squad which also includes world time trial champion Tony Martin and the in-form Zdenek Stybar.
Fenn is the second Brit to be handed his first Grand Tour start after Luke Rowe was named in Team Sky’s nine-man line-up. Both Fenn and Rowe are products of the British Cycling Academy.
The 23-year-old sprinter has claimed three victories since joining the Belgian WorldTour team and also finished sixth overall in the Tour de Picardie in May.
Fenn is part of a varied line-man line-up which will see Martin target the 38.8km individual time trial on stage 11. The German powerhouse will also drive Omega Pharma-QuickStep’s effort in Saturday’s opening stage, a 27.4km team time trial in Vilanova de Arousa, along with two-time Belgian time trial champion Kristof Vandewalle.
Stybar, meanwhile, heads to Spain having won two stages and the overall in the Eneco Tour. Gianni Meersman will also target stage wins at the Vuelta, while Kevin De Weert and Serge Pauwels will show their hands in the mountains.
Like Fenn, young Belgians Pieter Serry and Guillaume Van Keirsbulck are riding their first three-week race and will focus on helping the team, as well as making it to the finish in Madrid on September 15.
“We have a good, well blended team at the start of La Vuelta,” said directeur sportif Rik van Slycke. “We have the right mix of young and experienced guys.
“For the sprints, we have Andy Fenn, who is at his first big tour. Guillaume Van Keirsbulck is another young guy who is ready to show himself.
“It is important for Guillaume and Andy to be there to try and learn, and also be there for the last stage in Madrid. To finish La Vuelta will be an important objective for them, but they can also play a role in the flat stages even if there are not that many.
“Overall, we have both experienced guys and young guys who have goals for the stage victories.”
Omega Pharma-QuickStep squad for the Vuelta a Espana
Kevin De Weert
Guillaume Van Keirsbulck