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Movistar trio of Quintana, Valverde and Landa confirmed for Tour de France

Joe Robinson
25 Jun 2018

Strong Movistar lineup likely to pose biggest threat to Chris Froome and Team Sky at upcoming Tour de France

Movistar have announced their team for the upcoming 2018 Tour de France confirming a trio of potential yellow jersey contenders in Nairo Quintana, Alejandro Valverde and Mikel Landa among their ranks.

The Spanish WorldTour team will also take young prospect Marc Soler as well as another strong GC contender in Andrey Amador, who has finished fourth at the Giro d'Italia.

It has been an open secret for some time that the team would take this three-pronged attack to the Tour. Quintana, Valverde and Landa all missed the Giro in May and have structured their seasons around the Tour, which starts on 7th July in the Vendee region of France.

Movistar have now confirmed the remaining five riders who will head to the Tour as the team attempts to win its first yellow jersey since Oscar Pereiro was retrospectively handed the jersey in 2006 after original winner Floyd Landis failed a drug test after a near-miraculous race-winning ride on stage 17 of the race.

Supporting the leading three will be the 24-year old climbing sensation Soler. Having taken victory at Paris-Nice earlier this year, Soler will be a reliable body in the mountains and will no doubt also be targeting the white jersey for best young rider.

Amador will also be pivotal in the mountains having twice finished in the top 10 at the Giro. At 37 and 33 years old respectively, the selections of Daniele Bennati and Jose Joaquin Rojas give the team plenty of experience, with the latter usually taking the role of road captain.

The final rider to be selected is Spaniard Imanol Erviti. With top 10 finishes at both the Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix, Erviti's presence will be vital in the potentially decisive stage 9 over the cobbles of northern France.

Question marks remain as to whether the approach of three team leaders can work against the concerted approach of Team Sky centered around defending champion Chris Froome.

All three riders have continuously stated that they will let the race decide who will assume the role of race leader however many expect the role to fall at the feet of Quintana.

The Colombian recently finished third on general classification at the Tour de Suisse, taking a stage victory in the process, though Landa eventually struggled to finish 16th. Valverde, despite being an ever-present threat at any race he's a part of, has been unable to make it stick over three weeks since his sole Grand Tour victory at the 2009 Vuelta a Espana.

But if the team manage to work towards a common goal without tripping each other up, there is no doubt they have the firepower to match Team Sky in the mountains, something most have struggled to do in the past three years.

Speaking recently ahead of the Tour, both Landa and Valverde spoke of the excitement around the various options available to the team.

'It's not just the three of us; with the five team-mates we'll have at the start with us, the lineup will be one to fear,' Landa said recently, with Valverde adding, 'The race will set things straight as usual, but having three chances to win offers us many strategical choices we'll try to take advantage from.'

For the start list of the Tour de France so far, check the Cyclist hub page here.