(Reuters) – The Vuelta a Espana looks set to turn into a Jumbo-Visma v Ineos-Grenadiers battle as Chris Froome was confirmed in the squad for his last race with the British outfit.
The four-time Tour de France champion, who has been struggling to hit top form since returning from a career-threatening crash last year, will lead Ineos-Grenadiers alongside 2019 Giro d’Italia winner Richard Carapaz.
Froome will leave the team at the end of the season to join Israel-Start Up Nation.
Jumbo-Visma will go with former Giro champion Tom Dumoulin and this year’s Tour de France runner-up Primoz Roglic.
Other challengers include Thibaut Pinot (Groupama-FDJ), who lost all hope of winning the Tour after sustaining a back injury during the opening stage, but also Enric Mas (Movistar), who finished the Vuelta in second place in 2018.
The Vuelta starts from Irun on Tuesday.
The race will only feature 18 stages after organisers scraped the start from the Netherlands amid the COVID-19 crisis.