Sam Bennett will race his second Grand Tour of the reduced season after Deceuninck – Quick-Step announced he will be lining up at the Vuelta a España.
The Irishman will be looking to add further stage victories after taking his maiden Tour de France stages in September, as well as the green jersey.
Since the French Grand Tour, Bennett rode Gent-Wevelgem but did not finish, while he will also race Schelderprijs today.
He has raced the Vuelta a España once before, in 2019 when he was at Bora-Hansgrohe, winning stages 3 and 14, while also coming second on four other occasions, eventually finishing third in the points classification when the race arrived in Madrid.
He will be supported by lead-out men Shane Archbold and Michael Mørkøv, while Zdenek Štybar is also riding after he had to pull out of the Tour de France days before the start due to a knee injury.
Mattia Cattaneo will race after coming back from fracturing his vertebrae at the Giro dell’Emilia in August, while Deceuninck -Quick-Step will also offer Grand Tour debuts to three of their younger riders.
21-year-old Italian Andrea Bagioli is one of them, having recorded a seventh-place finish at the recent Brabantse Pijl, as well as 19th at Flèche Wallonne. American Ian Garrison will also line-up in his first season with the Belgian squad, as will the German Jannik Steilme.
Deceuninck – Quick-Step have already had two successful Grand Tour campaigns this year, taking three stages at the Tour de France and Bennett the green jersey, as well as Julian Alaphilippe spending time in the maillot jaune once again.
Meanwhile, 22-year-old João Almeida has worn the leader’s jersey at the Giro d’Italia since stage three and currently holds a 34-second advantage over Sunweb’s Wilco Kelderman heading into the second week.