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Defending champion Simon Yates to miss 2019 Vuelta a Espana

Jack Elton-Walters
16 Aug 2019

Simon Yates's absence from Mitchelton-Scott line-up is little surprise as he's already ridden the Giro and Tour this year

Reigning Vuelta a Espana champion Simon Yates will not defend his title at the upcoming 2019 race, which starts next week, after being left out of Mitchelton-Scott's eight-man team. This was not unexpected, however, as Yates has already ridden both the Giro d'Italia, where he targeted the overall title and finished eighth, and the Tour de France, where he rode in support of his twin brother Adam and took two stage wins of his own.

Both Simon and brother Adam should be under consideration for inclusion in British Cycling's selection for the men's elite road race at the World Championships, which takes place on Sunday 29th September in Yorkshire.

The course is likely to suit a punchier rider such as Ben Swift, but the Yates pair could serve in a valuable support role alongside others like Geraint Thomas and Luke Rowe.

In the absence of either Yates brother, Esteban Chaves will be the Mitchelton-Scott's GC leader at the 2019 Vuelta a Espana. Chaves finished third at the Vuelta in 2016 and took two stage wins the year before.

The Colombian has been plagued by a series of setbacks over the past few seasons, including injury and family bereavement, but a stage win at the Giro back in May was an encouraging sign that he could be returning to his best.

After all three Grand Tours were won by British riders last year, Chaves could make 2019 the year of the South Americans if he does win the race, after compatriot Egan Bernal won the Tour and Ecuadorean Richard Carapaz the Giro.