THERE were mixed fortunes for Tasmanian cyclists as the pro teams finalised plans for the last grand tour of the season, the Vuelta a Espana.
A week out from the start, Wes Sulzberger is in, Will Clarke is out and Cameron Wurf is thereabouts.
Flowery Gully's Sulzberger was among the nine-man team named by ORICA-GreenEDGE yesterday, with the Andorra-based 26-year-old tipped as a potential stage winner by sport director Neil Stephens.
``Wes has honed some of the best form of his life this season, and although he has yet to secure the result to show for his improved form, he's been knocking on the door for months,'' Stephens said.
``Wes is in fantastic shape. It's clear he really trained well throughout July.
``He's a great helper in nearly every race situation, and I expect he'll be especially important in the harder stages that suit Gerro and Clarkey [Simon Gerrans and Simon Clarke].
``Wes also has the ability to finish off a stage from a breakaway, and we'd love to see him get the result he's gone after all season.''
There was less good news for Clarke, who had been optimistic of making his Grand Tour debut in Spain.
However, when Argos-Shimano announced its team, the Campbell Town 27-year-old was named as a substitute.
``We head to Spain with a diverse young line-up with different riders who can be successful in both the flat and the hilly or mountainous stages,'' said coach Christian Guiberteau, as the team seeks to build on its impressive Tour de France performance.
Although Cannondale is yet to confirm its Vuelta team, Wurf is expected to be a key support rider for Ivan Basso.
The Hobart rider, who turned 30 earlier this month, was in the team that assisted Basso at the five-stage Vuelta a Burgos last week, during which he hinted he expected to be back in Spain soon.
Having also joined Basso for an altitude camp and the Tour of Poland, Wurf suffered his first crash of the season in the final Burgos stage and explained why he did not race straight back into contention.
``You only have so many dig-deep biscuits in the jar in one season and I don't need to waste them on a day like today when the Vuelta is only two weeks away,'' he said.
The Vuelta begins with a 27-kilometre team time trial in Vilanova de Arousa next Saturday and finishes in Madrid three weeks later.