August 03, 2017

PARIS (AP) French rider Romain Bardet will compete at the Spanish Vuelta for the first time after securing a third-place finish at the Tour de France last month.

His AG2R-La Mondiale team confirmed that the 26-year-old Bardet will take part at the three-week race, which starts on Aug. 19 in the French city of Nimes.

Bardet, who finished runner-up to Chris Froome at the Tour in 2016, has never competed in the two other Grands Tours, the Vuelta and the Giro d'Italia.

Bardet said ''I am happy to participate in the Vuelta, not only to break the monotony of my usual program, but also to compete in two Grand Tours (in one season) for the first time in my career. This is an important step in the life of a professional racer, and I feel that I have the maturity to tackle it.''

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