The Vuelta a San Juan starts next Sunday with multiple Grand Tour winner Vincenzo Nibali set to make his season debut. The Bahrain-Merida line-up also includes Kanstantsín Siutsou who returns after injury.
The South American stage race is now in its 36th edition. Seven stages, one more than last year, with a route that includes a number of flat stages suited to the sprinters, a 14-kilometre individual time trial and the queen stage including the 2,560-metre Alto de Colorado, in which the riders will have to climb over 1500 metres in the last 70 kilometres.
“As for some years, I have chosen Argentina for my seasonal debut,” said Nibali. “It’s a good race to start, the route is not too demanding and the weather is perfect. And then it always brought me luck.”
Mark Padun will make debut in the Bahrain Merida jersey: “I am very happy to be here in San Juan and to be able to run close to such experienced riders as Vincenzo and ” Kosta “. My task will be to help the team and maybe try some breakaway”.
Siutsou who returns to racing after the fracture of the left femur that put him out of action for seven months said: “The recovery was quick enough but I preferred to wait until 2018 to return to the competitions. I must admit I can not wait to attack my number on the team jersey”.
The Italian sprinter Niccolò Bonifazio will have a number of opportunities to win a stage and he said: “In this Vuelta there are at least four sprint finishes. I worked well at home and I will try to beat strong opponents such as Fernando Gaviria and Giacomo Nizzolo”.
Team BAHRAIN MERIDA’s line up for Vuelta San Juan: