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by Dane Cash
May 9, 2020
Photography by Kristof Ramon
Vuelta a España organizers have announced the wildcard selections for the 2020 edition of the race, granting Burgos-BH and Caja Rural-Seguros RGA the two available invitations to take part in the race.
Neither of the chosen teams comes as a major surprise, as both Burgos-BH and Caja Rural have been at the Vuelta each of the past few seasons.
As part of the UCI’s altered plans for the 2020 season, men’s one-day races at the WorldTour level will be allowed to set smaller team roster sizes, which in turn makes room for the invitation of one or two additional teams—but that provision was not applied to stage races. As such, the 2020 Vuelta still only had two wildcard invites to hand out after accounting for the 19 WorldTour squads and automatic invite Total-Direct Energie, and that leaves some potential participants on the outside looking in.
The Fundación–Orbea team, which jumped up to the ProTeam level this year, has missed out on Vuelta selection, the only Spanish second-division team that will not be in attendance.
Also absent will be former Vuelta champion Nairo Quintana. He won the race in 2016 as a member of the Movistar team, but has since transferred to second-division squad Arkéa-Samsic. The Arkéa team has been invited to this year’s Tour de France, but will not be at the Vuelta.
The same goes for Alpecin-Fenix, the team of Mathieu van der Poel. The Dutchman had said late last year that he was hoping to make his Grand Tour debut this season, possibly at the Vuelta, but the newly reshuffled calendar now puts the Vuelta either in conflict with or shortly after a handful of Classics races he is likely to target, making the non-invitation less of a blow.