Team BikeExchange have announced their eight-rider line-up for the final Grand Tour of the season, the Vuelta a España which starts this weekend.
Puncheur Michael Matthews will lead the team, the former three-time Vuelta stage winner hungry for more success in Spain.
Climber Lucas Hamilton will also be one of the key Aussies to watch, the young rider keen to start after his early withdrawal from the 2021 Tour de France.
‘Bling’ Keen For Stage Wins
‘Bling’ Matthews said he was feeling ready for the Vuelta after recovering well after a hard Tour de France.
“After many close calls at the Tour with second and third places, I am motivated to try and get on the top step at the Vuelta,” he said. “I’ve won a few stages here before and it’s a Grand Tour that I really enjoy.
“We have a strong team; we saw at the Tour that Luka Mezgec was in good form so I am happy to be lining-up with him again and it will be good to race with Rob Stannard too and have him alongside us for the fast sprint stages.
I think there’s a few stages that look like they should suit us, for sprinting but also in the climbs. It’s really nice to see Lucas Hamilton back racing after he was unlucky crashing out of the Tour.”
I think we’ve generally got a strong team and a team that can sprint but that can climb well too. I feel prepared, now I just want to start racing and hope we can have some really good results.”
Lucas Hamilton Raring To Ride
22 year old Lucas Hamilton said he was was devastated having to withdraw from the Tour de France after crashing on Stage 13.
“This makes me even more motivated and excited to start the Vuelta,” said an excited Hamilton.
“It will be my first time racing the Vuelta, I’ve heard it’s a really great Grand Tour and having looked at the stages, the second half of the race looks really hard with lots of climbing, so hopefully we can have a really good tour, a strong overall showing and get our hands in the air.
“The team we have is really strong and really well balanced and I think everyone is super motivated for this final Grand Tour of the season. I am ready and can’t wait for Saturday to get started and to make my Vuelta debut in Burgos.”
Team BikeExchange La Vuelta a España Team
Lucas Hamilton – Debut appearance
Damien Howson – 5th appearance
Michael Matthews – 3rd appearance
Luka Mezgec – 4th appearance
Mikel Nieve – 9th appearance
Nick Schultz – 5th appearance
Robert Stannard – 2nd appearance
Andrey Zeits – 8th appearance