Irish cycling team to compete in the Vuelta a Espana

Aqua Blue Sport will compete in the race later this year

Irish cycling team to compete in the Vuelta a Espana

Picture: Karen M. Edwards/ Aqua Blue Sport

Aqua Blue Sport, the Irish cycling team based in Cork, have been invited to compete in the Vuelta a Espana.

One of cycling's biggest races, the Vuelta stands at the top of the cycling calendar, alongside the Tour de France and the Giro d'Italia.

Aqua Blue Sport were only set up last year, and began racing at the start of 2017. The team have already competed this year in races all around the World, in places like Australia, Oman and closer to home in Belgium, the Netherlands and Italy.

The team, will become the first ever Irish team, to compete in one of cycling's Grand Tours.

Rick Delaney, founder of the team, said the invite to compete in the Vuelta was "an emotional moment".

"I dreamed of a Grand Tour start and now it has been realised. Three months in to our first season we have a Grand Tour invite. I believe it is very important to dream and this is evidence that dreams do come true."

"We are delighted and humbled to have received this incredible honour so early in our time. The Vuelta is a fantastic and historic event for Aqua Blue Sport to be there is a fantastic achievement for such a young team."

Aqua Blue Sport will join the likes of Team Sky, Astana and Lotto–Soudal in the three-week race. The first stage of the Vuelta take place in Nimes in France on August 19th. The race concludes in Madrid on September 10th.