1. Nick Hartley

Cyclist Luke Rowe handed Grand Tour debut

Credit: Andrew Milligan/PA Archive/Press Association Images

Welsh cyclist Luke Rowe will ride in his first Grand Tour after being named in Team Sky’s squad for this month’s Vuelta a Espana.

In only his second season in the professional ranks, it comes as a huge boost for the Cardiff rider.

He will line up alongside some of the sport’s greats when stage one begins with a 27km time trial from Vilanova de Arousa to Sanxenxo on Saturday.

Rowe’s Grand Tour debut comes after a strong debut season in which he won the opening stage of the Tour of Britain and an equally impressive showing during the 2013 Spring Classics - notably on the notorious cobbles of the Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix.

There is no place in the Vuelta squad for fellow Welshman Geraint Thomas, who famously rode the entire Tour de France with a fractured pelvis last month.