Departing Eddie Dunbar overlooked by Ineos for Vuelta a España

Sam Bennett and Ryan Mullen the only Irish riders confirmed for race starting on Friday

Already confirmed as leaving the Ineos Grenadiers team for the BikeExchange-Jayco squad, Eddie Dunbar has been overlooked by the British team for selection for the Vuelta a España, which begins on Friday.

The Ineos lineup for the Vuelta was announced on Monday, with former Giro d’Italia champions Richard Carapaz and Tao Geoghegan Hart being joined by Ethan Hayter, Luke Plapp, Carlos Rodríguez, Pavel Sivakov, Ben Turner and Dylan van Baarle for the event.

Dunbar is in his final contract year with the team and had hoped to ride a Grand Tour this year. However, despite winning the Settimana Internazionale Coppi e Bartali race in March he wasn’t selected for the Giro d’Italia.

That decision frustrated Dunbar and likely sealed his move to another squad, with the Australian BikeExchange-Jayco set-up offering him the leadership opportunities he often lacked at Ineos.


Dunbar bounced back from the Giro selection decision by winning the Tour de Hongrie. He has only ridden one Grand Tour thus far in his career, the 2019 Giro d’Italia, and would have embraced the chance to ride the Vuelta if selected.

However, teams sometimes overlook departing riders for selection for major events and whatever chance he had of competing in the Spanish Tour were likely affected by his decision to head elsewhere for 2023.

Sam Bennett and Ryan Mullen are the only two Irish riders confirmed for the Vuelta. Both will compete as part of the Bora-hansgrohe squad in the race. The race begins in Utrecht on Friday. Bennett was fifth in the European road race championships on Sunday and believes his best form is coming.

Meanwhile Emily Kay was the sole Irish rider in action at the European championships on Monday. She competed in the four-race omnium event and got things off to a great start with a third place finish in the opening 7.5km scratch race. She was then seventh in the tempo race and ninth in the elimination. The final round of the omnium was the points race, after which Kay ended up ninth overall in the competition.

Three Irish competitors are in action on Tuesday. Alice Sharpe and Mia Griffin were originally due to join forces in the Madison, but following Sharpe’s two crashes in Saturday’s elimination race the decision has been taken for Lara Gillespie to take her place in the event. Orla Walsh will compete in the keirin.

Shane Stokes

Shane Stokes

Shane Stokes is a contributor to The Irish Times writing about cycling