Pavel Sivakov has voiced his disappointment at being left out of the Ineos selection for the Vuelta a España following the announcement of his transfer to UAE Team Emirates for the 2024 season.
After forming part of Geraint Thomas’ supporting cast at the Giro d’Italia, Sivakov had spent much of the summer preparing at altitude for the Vuelta, but he was ultimately omitted from the eight-man squad. The Frenchman is instead racing this week at the Deutschland Tour.
“Let’s just say I had a big blow last week. I was told I wouldn’t be doing the Vuelta, and that was really tough,” Sivakov told L’Équipe. “I spent a month and a half at altitude this summer and three weeks with the Vuelta squad. Then we all went to the Tour de Pologne together. It went well, very well indeed. After that, I went straight back to altitude to prepare for the Vuelta. I think I was in the best condition of my season, even better than before the Giro, and then…”
The 26-year-old rode strongly in support of Thomas and Tao Geoghegan Hart at the Giro until he was forced out by a crash, and he returned to action in July with fifth overall at the Tour of Austria.
Earlier this month, it was confirmed that Sivakov would leave Ineos at season’s end after spending the first six years of his professional career at the team. He has signed a three-year deal with UAE Team Emirates, but even after the announcement, he expected to ride the Vuelta with Ineos.
“I got a phone call telling me it wasn’t going to happen,” Sivakov said. “It’s been complicated. I’ve been with the team for six years and everyone knows I’m leaving, but that’s cycling. We’re just numbers, we’re pawns. That’s how I see it.
“It makes you realise that management sometimes has to make difficult decisions. I was devastated at the time, but I’ve pulled myself together since then. I want to take advantage of all the work that’s been done this summer and try to do something between now and the end of the season.”