The third Grand Tour of the 2020 season is set to start Tuesday, October 20th, in the Basque Country, and Trek-Segafredo is bringing a mix of youth and experience with a core mission to target stage wins.
Despite being shortened to 18 stages, this year’s edition of the Vuelta a España features a heavily mountainous parcours that will serve up a total of 47 categorized climbs and several summit finishes, including the iconic Col du Tourmalet (stage 6), Alto de l’Angliru (stage 12), and the Alto de la Covatilla (stage 18).
Although the route heavily favors the climbers, the sprinters and punchers will have chances to shine with at least four stages predicted to finish in bunch sprints, including the traditional flat run into Madrid on the final day.
Trek-Segafredo’s eight-man squad includes four Grand Tour debutants: Alexander Kamp, Emīls Liepiņš and neo-pros Michel Ries and Juan Pedro Lopéz, all of whom will take this opportunity as a valuable learning experience.
Kenny Elissonde, who in 2013 won a Vuelta stage on top of the Angliru, will line up in Irún for his second Grand Tour of the season after helping Richie Porte to a stellar third place at the Tour de France. The 29-year-old Frenchman will enjoy a free role and draw on his wealth of experience and climbing pedigree to seize a result in the mountain stages.
Italian fast-man Matteo Moschetti will be making his Vuelta debut after a tumultuous 2020 season hampered by a severe injury at the start of the year and will target the sprint stages. Moschetti will have the lead-out support of Liepiņš and Dutchman Koen De Kort, who’s signing on for his seventh Vuelta a España, bringing a wealth of experience to the team.
Rounding up our Vuelta roster is Dane Niklas Eg, who will aim to conclude his second GT of the year after a solid performance at the Tour de France.
Director Grégory Rast: “This will be a shortened Vuelta with just 18 stages instead of 21 which, for us, doesn’t make much of a difference. We have a young team, and we’re not starting with a real GC goal. As we don’t have an absolute leader, riders like Juan Pedro López, Michel Ries, and Niklas Eg have a great opportunity to learn and go for stages.
“We also bring Matteo Moschetti for the four or five sprints stages. He’s still making his way back to top form after his bad injury at the start of the season, but we have a second very fast rider in Emīls (Liepiņš) as an alternative. In Koen de Kort, we have a rider with a lot of experience to help them both in the sprints.
“This Vuelta looks extremely hard with a lot of mountain-top finishes, like the Tourmalet and the Angliru, and because of this we’re bringing four pure-climbers including Kenny Elissonde, who will start after a good performance in the Tour de France.”
Matteo Moschetti: “I’m really excited to take part in my first Vuelta. For me, it’s really important after the season I have had to have this nice block of racing. Even if there are only a few sprint stages, I’m really looking forward to try and bring home a victory. Shape-wise, I feel pretty good. One never knows how the race will play out, but for sure, the goal is to get one stage win. It would be really nice to end the season on that note.”
Juan Pedro López: “I’m truly living a dream. I’ll be taking part in my first Vuelta a España, a goal that I’ve had since I was a child. I know some of the stages and will try and give my best in the opportunities that suit me best. In the Ardennes, I was not at 100% physically, but I’m trying my best to fully recover and be perfectly healthy for the start of the Vuelta. Two of the stages I’m especially looking forward to racing are stage 6 that finishes on the Tourmalet and stage 12 on the Angliru.”
Trek-Segafredo Vuelta a España 2020 Roster
- Niklas Eg (DEN)
- Kenny Elissonde (FRA)
- Koen de Kort (NED)
- Alexander Kamp (DEN)
- Emīls Liepiņš (LAT)
- Juan Pedro López (ESP)
- Matteo Moschetti (ITA)
- Michel Ries (LUX)