Vuelta a Espana 2014: King of the Mountains contenders

The men who could shape the race for the blue polka dot jersey

Dario Cataldo showed his climbing ability at the Giro d’Italia, where he bagged the Cima Coppi prize and finished second in the mountains classification after being a regular in the breaks.

Sky’s Grand Tour form this season has been below-par to say the least – failing to challenge overall and yet to pick up a single stage win after 42 days of racing at the Giro and Tour.

Dario Cataldo proved his climbing ability at the Giro d’Italia and, if he is given the license to attack, could be on the hunt for mountain-top stage wins (Pic: Sirotti)

However, with a strong team selected for the Vuelta – Cataldo among them – this could be the race which changes that.

First and foremost, Cataldo – along with similarly aggressive climbers like Pete Kennaugh, Mikel Nieve and Philip Deignan – are in Spain to support Chris Froome’s GC bid.

However, with his racing form unknown having not competed since crashing out of the Tour, Sky could well need another plan B.

Cataldo and Deignan are both more than capable – as they proved at the Giro where they enjoyed plenty of time in the breaks.

Both already have Vuelta stage wins on their palmares too, so do not be surprised – should they be given the license to do so – if they find themselves in contention for the polka dots.

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