La Vuelta a España Teams 2021

Rouleur examines the 23 teams that will participate in the Vuelta a España 2021. ProTeams Burgos-BH, Caja Rural, Euskaltel - Euskadi and Alpecin-Fenix join the 19 WorldTour Teams in Spain.

Reigning Tour de France champ Tadej Pogačar has announced that he will skip the Vuelta to focus on later objectives. Despite Pogačar's absence, many of the best GC riders in the world are attending, with Primož Roglič, Egan Bernal, Mikel Landa and Richard Carapaz headlining the list. Let's examine the 23 teams and 184 riders that will start the final Grand Tour of the season.

La Vuelta 2021 Route, Contenders and Predictions

Ineos Grenadiers

Egan BernalImage credit: Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images

  • Egan Bernal
  • Richard Carapaz
  • Jhonatan Narváez
  • Tom Pidcock
  • Salvatore Puccio
  • Pavel Sivakov
  • Dylan van Baarle
  • Adam Yates

A team ready to race. Well, that’s according to Ineos’ lineup announcement. They might be right, too. This is only the second occasion where Egan Bernal and Richard Carapaz start on a Grand Tour team together. When you also consider the inclusion of Adam Yates, Pavel Sivakov and the ever-consistent Dylan van Baarle, the Ineos Grenadiers start as one of the favourites to win the red jersey. Tom Pidcock also makes his anticipated Grand Tour debut, meaning the Grenadiers have two Tokyo 2020 gold medallists present.

Vuelta a España 2021 Guide

AG2R Citroën

  • Geoffrey Bouchard
  • Lilian Calmejane
  • Clément Champoussin
  • Mikaël Cherel
  • Stan Dewulf
  • Nicolas Prodhomme
  • Damien Touzé
  • Clément Venturini

AG2R Citroën enter with a team that could challenge for stage victories, but look unlikely to pose a GC threat. Geoffrey Bouchard won the KOM jersey on his Grand Tour debut at the 2019 Vuelta. The Frenchman loves to attack, and we’ll undoubtedly see him up the road in the mountains. Clement Venturini is an outsider in the mass sprints.

Team Jumbo-Visma

Primoz RoglicImage credit: David Ramos/Getty Images

  • Primož Roglič
  • Robert Gesink
  • Steven Kruijswijk
  • Nathan Van Hooydonck
  • Koen Bouwman
  • Lennard Hofstede
  • Sepp Kuss
  • Sam Oomen

The favourites Primož Roglič had a Tour de France to forget this season — he withdrew prior to the first rest day. However, Roglič knows how to bounce back, and did so by winning the Olympic time-trial. The gold medallist won the Vuelta in 2019 and 2020 — if he wins it for a third successive year, he’ll become the fourth rider to win the race at least three times. Sepp Kuss, Koen Bouwman and Steven Kruijswijk will provide key support.

Team BikeExchange

  • Lucas Hamilton
  • Damien Howson
  • Michael Matthews
  • Luka Mezgec
  • Mikel Nieve
  • Nick Schultz
  • Robert Stannard
  • Andrey Zeits

Lucas Hamilton will get another chance to lead at a Grand Tour after his Tour de France didn’t go to plan — the Australian crashed out on stage 13. Michael Matthews, Rob Stannard and Luka Mezgec all have a turn of speed but can resist difficult climbs, so we may see BikeExchange on the front of the peloton to drop the pure sprinters.

Intermarché - Wanty - Gobert Matériaux

  • Odd Christian Eiking
  • Jan Hirt
  • Wesley Kreder
  • Riccardo Minali
  • Louis Meintjes
  • Simone Petilli
  • Rein Taaramäe
  • Kévin Van Melsen

Odd Christian Eiking is the man in form for Intermarché. The Norwegian was second overall at the Arctic Race of Norway, and could’ve won had the breakaway not held on to win the final stage. Look out for Eiking on hilly terrain. Jan Hirt and Louis Meintjes are Intermarché’s better climbers.

Astana - Premier Tech

Alex AranburuImage credit: Bas Czerwinski/Getty Images

  • Aleksandr Vlasov
  • Alex Aranburu
  • Óscar Rodríguez
  • Gorka Izagirre
  • Ion Izagirre
  • Luis León Sánchez
  • Omar Fraile
  • Yuriy Natarov

We already know that Aleksandr Vlasov, Astana’s greatest general classification hope, will leave the team at the end of the season. The Russian heads to Bora-Hansgrohe, but not before one final Grand Tour hurrah with Astana. Alex Aranburu, Omar Fraile and the Izagirre brothers make up a solid Spanish contingent capable of winning multiple stages, whilst veteran Luis León Sánchez starts his twelfth Vuelta. Remarkably, Sánchez is still searching for his first stage victory at his home Grand Tour.


  • Felix Großschartner
  • Cesare Benedetti
  • Martin Laas
  • Patrick Gamper
  • Jordi Meeus
  • Ben Zwiehoff
  • Max Schachmann
  • Anton Palzer

Bora-Hansgrohe’s team is set to change substantially in 2021 with the departure of Peter Sagan and the arrival of riders like Sergio Higuita and Sam Bennett. However, Maxi Schachmann and Felix Großschartner appear to be the team leaders here — Großschartner finished in the top ten last year. Martin Laas and Jordi Meeus will sprint for Bora.

Under the radar: Riders to watch at La Vuelta

Bahrain Victorious

Mark PadunImage credit: Bas Czerwinski/Getty Images

  • Mikel Landa
  • Yukiya Arashiro
  • Damiano Caruso
  • Jack Haig
  • Mark Padun
  • Wout Poels
  • Gino Mäder
  • Jan Tratnik

Mikel Landa looked to be one of the key protagonists at the Giro d’Italia earlier this season before crashing out. Landa hasn’t raced the Vuelta since 2015 and he’s never finished higher than 25th overall. Could this be Landa’s year? Damiano Caruso is his key lieutenant — the Giro d’Italia runner-up may come in playing second fiddle, but could end the race as leader again. Jack Haig, Mark Padun, Wout Poels and the talented Gino Mäder add to a supreme Bahrain Victorious squad that could be the team to beat in the high mountains.

Trek Segafredo

  • Alex Kirsch
  • Gianluca Brambilla
  • Kenny Elissonde
  • Kiel Riejnen
  • Giulio Ciccone
  • Antonio Nibali
  • Quinn Simmons
  • Juan Pedro López

Giulio Ciccone gets the chance to lead a Grand Tour again after a promising Giro. However, Trek-Segafredo's best approach may be to hunt stage victories, where Gianluca Brambilla, Kenny Elissonde and Juan Pedro López could all have a chance on mountain stages. Quinn Simmons also makes his Grand Tour debut. The 19-year-old American is uber talented, proven by his victory at the Tour de Wallonie in July. Don’t be surprised to see him challenging for stage victories.

Deceuninck-Quick Step

  • Andrea Bagioli
  • Fabio Jakobsen
  • James Knox
  • Josef Černý
  • Florian Sénéchal
  • Zdeněk Štybar
  • Bert Van Lerberghe
  • Mauri Vansevenant

Fabio Jakobsen returns to start a Grand Tour for the first time since his horrific crash at the Tour of Poland. Jakobsen has only started one Grand Tour previously — he won two stages at the 2019 Vuelta. If Jakobsen can win a Vuelta stage again, it would surely be one of the most popular victories this season. Andrea Bagioli and Mauri Vansevenant are two youngsters to keep a keen eye on, whilst Florian Sénéchal and Zdeněk Štybar provide experience and are powerful classics riders.


Enric MasImage credit: Chris Graythen/Getty Images

  • Enric Mas
  • Alejandro Valverde
  • Miguel Ángel López
  • Nelson Oliveira
  • Carlos Verona
  • Johan Jacobs
  • Imanol Erviti
  • José Joaquín Rojas

Movistar’s ‘big three’ start together for the second Grand Tour in a row. Enric Mas has proven to be the most consistent performer at Grand Tours — he was second at the Vuelta in 2018. Mas finished ahead of Miguel Ángel López on the podium that year. Neither have been able to return to a Grand Tour podium since, but that must be Movistar’s goal. 41-year-old Alejandro Valverde starts his 15th Vuelta España, which places him second on the list of all-time Vuelta starts. His teammate Imanol Erviti also starts his 14th Vuelta — he’s participated every year since 2007 bar the 2018 edition. This Movistar lineup certainly aren't lacking experience.

Lotto Soudal

  • Steff Cras
  • Matt Holmes
  • Andreas Kron
  • Frederik Frison
  • Sylvain Moniquet
  • Maxim Van Gils
  • Harm Vanhoucke
  • Florian Vermeersch

With Caleb Ewan out injured, Lotto Soudal have selected a young team with little Grand Tour experience. Andreas Kron, Sylvain Moniquet, Maxim Van Gils and Florian Vermeersch all make their Grand Tour debuts. Harm Vanhoucke is one of the most experienced with three Grand Tours under his belt — he could be a dark horse for the general classification, unless he targets stage victories in the mountains.


  • Guillaume Martin
  • Jesús Herrada
  • Piet Allegaert
  • Fernando Barceló
  • Eddy Finé
  • José Herrada
  • Emmanuel Morin
  • Rémy Rochas

Cofidis are led by Guillaume Martin. He finished in the top ten of a Grand Tour for the first time at the Tour de France earlier this season. The Frenchman is joined by Jesús Herrada, who won a stage at La Vuelta in 2019. Eddy Finé and Piet Allegaert make their Grand Tour debuts.

Team DSM

Michael StorerImage credit: Luc Claessen/Getty Images

  • Thymen Arensman
  • Romain Bardet
  • Alberto Dainese
  • Nico Denz
  • Chad Haga
  • Chris Hamilton
  • Michael Storer
  • Martijn Tusveld

Romain Bardet has demonstrated that he is returning to his best form with Team DSM. He had a fine Giro d’Italia debut, and claimed his first victory for over three years at the Vuelta a Burgos recently. He looks to be Team DSM’s GC leader, however, Michael Storer is improving all the time. The 24-year-old won the Tour de l’Ain in July, and could play a role in the GC here. Alberto Dainese will lead the team in mass sprints.

Euskaltel - Euskadi

  • Joan Bou
  • Xabier Mikel Azparren
  • Mikel Bizkarra
  • Mikel Iturria
  • Juan José Lobato
  • Gotzon Martín
  • Luis Ángel Maté
  • Antonio Jesús Soto

Euskaltel - Euskadi are one of the Spanish ProTeams that have been granted a place on the startline by race organisers. Four of their riders make their Grand Tour debut, but Mikel Iturria starts his third Vuelta after winning a stage in 2019. We can expect to see them cramming their riders into the breakaway at every opportunity.


  • Edward Planckaert
  • Scott Thwaites
  • Jasper Philipsen
  • Jay Vine
  • Sacha Modolo
  • Alexander Krieger
  • Floris De Tier
  • Tobias Bayer

Tim Merlier won stages at both the Giro d’Italia and Tour de France this season, but he doesn’t start here. Instead, Alpecin-Fenix will focus on Jasper Philipsen in the sprint stages. Winner of the Zwift Academy Jay Vine starts his first Grand Tour — he impressed at the Vuelta a Burgos recently when he finished fifth atop Lagunas de Neila. Tobias Bayer is another one to watch — the 21-years-old is also a Grand Tour debutant and has shown potential on a range of terrains.

UAE Team Emirates

  • David de la Cruz
  • Joe Dombrowski
  • Ryan Gibbons
  • Rafał Majka
  • Juan Sebastián Molano
  • Rui Oliveira
  • Jan Polanc
  • Matteo Trentin

Tour de France champ Tadej Pogačar announced on social media that he would skip La Vuelta this year, instead focusing on the European Championships, World Championship and Il Lombardia. This means Rafał Majka receives the chance to lead the team. Majka finished third at La Vuelta in 2015 and has bags of Grand Tour experience. Matteo Trentin has four La Vuelta stages on his palmarès already, though double Vuelta a Burgos stage winner Juan Sebastián Molano looks likely to lead UAE’s sprint train.

Team Qhubeka NextHash

Fabio AruImage credit: Bas Czerwinski/Getty Images

  • Fabio Aru
  • Sergio Henao
  • Reinardt Janse van Rensburg
  • Dimitri Claeys
  • Dylan Sunderland
  • Bert-Jan Lindeman
  • Sander Armée
  • Connor Brown

Fabio Aru has announced that the 2021 Vuelta a España will be his final Grand Tour. The Italian won the race in 2015, but has struggled to find that form in recent seasons. Qhubeka NextHash provide a Grand Tour debut to Connor Brown. 


  • Arnaud Démare
  • Kevin Geniets
  • Jacopo Guarnieri
  • Olivier Le Gac
  • Tobias Ludvigsson
  • Rudy Molard
  • Anthony Roux
  • Ramon Sinkeldam

Following a disappointing Tour de France, Arnaud Démare heads to La Vuelta a España for the first time in his career. The Frenchman has seven stage victories at Grand Tours to his name, and is aiming to become the next rider to win a stage at all three Grand Tours after Matej Mohorič achieved the feat at the Tour de France. Jacopo Guarnieri and Ramon Sinkeldam are his leadout men.

Caja Rural

  • Jonathan Lastra
  • Jon Aberasturi
  • Julen Amezqueta
  • Álvaro Cuadros
  • Oier Lazkano
  • Aritz Bagües
  • Jefferson Alveiro Cepeda
  • Sergio Roman Martín

Jon Aberasturi will lead Caja Rural in the sprints. The 32-year-old starts his fourth Vuelta a España after he was second in stage 4 of the Vuelta a Burgos earlier this month. Jonathan Lastra and Julen Amezqueta are strong punchers, look out for them on hilly terrain. Oier Lazkano, Sergio Roman Martín and Álvaro Cuadros make their Grand Tour debuts.


  • Carlos Canal
  • Pelayo Sanchez
  • Ángel Madrazo
  • Óscar Cabedo
  • Ander Okamika
  • Daniel Navarro
  • Jetse Bol
  • Diego Rubio

Ángel Madrazo and Jetse Bol — two names you may recognise. The duo formed part of a famous breakaway at the 2019 Vuelta a España, where they finished first and second on the Javalambre. Daniel Navarro provides the experience — the Spanish veteran is starting his 21st Grand Tour.

EF Education - Nippo

Hugh CarthyImage credit: Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images

  • Jonathan Klever Caicedo
  • Diego Andrés Camargo
  • Simon Carr
  • Hugh Carthy
  • Lawson Craddock
  • Jens Keukeleire
  • Magnus Cort
  • Tom Scully

Hugh Carthy finished third at La Vuelta last season and only 75 seconds behind eventual race winner Primož Roglič. He'll be supported by Simon Carr, Jonathan Klever Caicedo and Grand Tour debutant Diego Andrés Camargo. Magnus Cort is a three-time Vuelta stage winner. Look out for the Dane in reduced sprint finishes.

Israel Start-Up Nation

  • Itamar Einhorn
  • Mads Würtz Schmidt
  • Sep Vanmarcke
  • Guy Niv
  • Davide Cimolai
  • Sebastian Berwick
  • Alexander Cataford
  • James Piccoli

Without a genuine GC leader in their lineup, Israel Start-Up Nation must chase stage victories. Davide Cimolai will lead them in mass sprints after he came close at the Giro d’Italia with two runner-up finishes. New Danish champion Mads Würtz Schmidt is a breakaway specialist — he won stage 6 of Tirreno-Adriatico from an early break.

Cover image: David Ramos/Getty Images

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