Peter Sagan has been named as one of three riders set to lead Cannondale at the Vuelta a Espana, after the Italian team unveiled a balanced line-up for the race.
The Slovakian champion, who won his third consecutive Tour de France green jersey last month, will start his final Grand Tour for the team when it rolls out in Jerez on Saturday September 23 ahead of his move to Tinkoff-Saxo.
He will be targeting stage wins in Spain, while Alessandro de Marchi and Damiano Caruso – who are also both set to leave the team this winter to join BMC Racing – will look for opportunities in the hills and mountains.
Team director Mario Scirea said: “The riders we selected offer us the chance to be really competitive almost everywhere.
“Sagan, De Marchi and Caruso are three leaders and top riders, but I think the entire team is solid and strong.
“Even if the Vuelta is the last grand tour, it’s a very hard competition and we’re ready to play our role. We’ll try to make our race all the times we’ll have the chances. We want to leave a strong mark on the race.”
Sagan romped to the green jersey at the Tour de France but was left frustrated in his bid for a stage win despite several near-misses.
However, in a team which also contains Canadian sprinter Guillaume Boivin, Sagan will be out to add to the three Vuelta stages he won in 2011.
De Marchi, meanwhile, is set to reprise the role he played at the Tour de France – where he won the combativity award – as he seeks out the long breakaways.
Caruso has been selected as the leader in the mountains, though, with Oscar Gatto and George Bennett among the men tasked with protecting the Green Machine’s three leaders.
Maciej Bodnar, Paolo Longo Borghini and Matthias Krizek complete the line-up.
Cannondale team for the 2014 Vuelta a Espana
Peter Sagan (SVK)
Alessandro de Marchi (ITA)
Damiano Caruso (ITA)
George Bennett (NZL)
Guilluame Boivin (CAN)
Oscar Gatto (ITA)
Maciej Bodnar (POL)
Paolo Longo Borghini (ITA)
Matthias Krizek (AUT)