Marbella cyclist Luis Ángel Maté looks to have been denied the chance to compete in one last major race before he retires.
This is because the 78th edition of La Vuelta a España, which will start in Barcelona on 26 August and run until 17 September, won't feature Maté's team Euskaltel, race organisers announced last week.
Following the rules of the International Cycling Union, the 18 UCI WorldTour teams automatically participate in the race. They are AG2R Citroen Tea, Alpecin-Deceuninck, Astana, Bahrain Victorious, Bora-Hansgrohe, Cofidis, EF Education-Easypost, Groupama-FDJ, Ineos Grenadiers, Intermarché-Circus-Wanty, Jumbo-Visma; Movistar Team , Soudal Quick-Step, Team Arkea-Samsic, Team DSM, Team Jayco Alula, Trek - Segafredo and UAE Team Emirates.
Two more spots are filled by the two best UCI ProTeams in the 2022 UCI Ranking - in this case the Lotto Dstny and TotalEnergies teams.
The two remaining spots are filled by invited teams. Euskaltel was expected to be one of them, but missed out to Burgos and Caja Rural.
"It would be an extraordinary cherry on top of the cake to finish my career in Madrid in La Vuelta," Maté recently told SUR in an interview. However, it now seems that his chance to compete in another race of this calibre before he calls it a day has now gone.
That said, at 39 years of age, the rider can boast of having completed eleven editions of the Vuelta a España and six of the Tour de France, as well as never having retired in a 'grand tour'.
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