- Jan 3, 2005
Fabian Cancellara, back from serious injury after crashing out of the Tour de France, and Fränk Schleck, who missed the Tour for the first time in a decade with a knee injury, lead Trek Factory Racing for the Vuelta a España.
Cancellara, 34, is returning from his second back injury this season. In an eerie repeat of his crash at E3 Harelbeke in March, Cancellara crashed out of the Tour in stage 3 while wearing the yellow jersey, suffering what the team described as “two transverse process fractures” in two vertebrae bones in his lower back.
“It’s absurd to think he’s doing this for the second time this season,” Trek general manager Luca Guercilena said in a team release. “The first week won’t be easy for him, but he can suffer a lot, and he’s determined to finish the season on a high.”
Cancellara will be looking to hone his form going into the UCI Road World Championships in September, while Schleck will be taking aim for the Vuelta podium. The veteran Luxembourger missed the Tour, but rode to fourth at the Tour of Utah.
“He has had a couple of setbacks this season, and missed out on the Tour,” Guercilena said of Schleck. “He’s ready for the Vuelta, and more importantly, he’s very fresh.”
Behind these two established captains, the team will bring a mix of old and new in a quest for a stage victory. Danny Van Poppel and Jasper Stuyven will be the team’s men for the sprint finales, while the rest of them will have freedom to attack.
The hilly and demanding Vuelta will present Trek with plenty of chances to play the opportunist.
Trek Factory Racing for the Vuelta a Espana:
Fabian Cancellara (Swi)
Markel Irizar (Sp)
Jasper Stuyven (B)
Yaroslav Popovych (Ukr)
Frank Schleck (Lux)
Boy Van Poppel (Nl)
Danny Van Poppel (Nl)
Riccardo Zoidl (A)
Haimar Zubeldia (Sp)
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