Vuelta a Espana 2014: red jersey contenders

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Vuelta a Espana 2014: red jersey contenders

Nairo Quitnana, Chris Froome and Joaquim Rodriguez among riders to go head-to-head for red in Spain

Chris Froome returns to action at the Vuelta a Espana after crashing out of the Tour de France on stage five, keen to end an injury-disrupted season on a high.

Winner at the Tour of Oman and Tour de Romandie – and points classification winner at the Criterium du Dauphine – Froome has shown his form, when fit, but several injuries have made for a frustrating year.

Chris Froome returns from injury to lead a strong Team Sky squad at the Vuelta a Espana (Pic: Bruno Bade/ASO)

But if he can return to top form at the Vuelta a Espana there is still time to rescue his – and Team Sky’s – season.

Runner-up in 2011 and fourth the following year, Froome has enjoyed Vuelta a Espana success in the past and is keen to go one better and seal the red jersey this time out.

The Kenyan-born Brit, 29, will enjoy the support of a strong squad including British champion Peter Kennaugh, Italian ace Dario Cataldo and Belarusian domestiques Vasili Kiryienka and Kanstantsin Siutsou.

Much of Froome’s chances will rest on how well he has recovered from injury, and where his form is compared to Giro champion Nairo Quintana (Movistar) and his other GC rivals.

Froome’s ability on the climbs and against the clock is undoubted, however, and if he can reach the same heights as at the 2013 Tour de France, he will be on the final podium at the very least.

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