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Arroyo leads strong Movistar team at Giro

Last year’s Giro d’Italia runner-up David Arroyo will lead his Movistar team for the season’s first grand tour starting Saturday in Torino.

Arroyo was one of the surprises of last year’s gripping Giro, riding pink all the way into the final mountain stages before finally conceding the maglia rosa to Ivan Basso.

“Being in pink last year was one of the best moments of my career,” Arroyo told the Spanish daily MARCA. “I know it will be difficult to repeat the performance, but I will try with all I can. The experience last year gave me more experience and more confidence for the grand tours.”

Behind Arroyo will be a solid team of climbers, stage hunters and Spanish sprinter Fran Ventoso. Sergio Pardilla, Pablo Lastras and Vasil Kiryienka will all have freedom to attack as well as help Arroyo if he’s still hanging around the top 10 in the overall.

“We bring a solid block for this year, able to shine in all terrain,” said Movistar manager Eusebio Unzué. “On paper, Arroyo is our leader for the GC, and he knows what it means to be on the podium of a grand tour. He’s coming to the start in very good condition.”

Unzué said the team will be aggressive throughout the Giro, which he compared to the Tour de France in level of participation and the difficulty of the course.

“Having won 10 races so far this year gives us a bit of ‘tranquility,’ but we will not lose this attitude in the race. We are confident, but also aware how challenging this year’s Giro really is,” Unzué continued.

“Not only is it a tough race, the field of starters is as deep as the Tour de France. That makes it even tougher to do something big, but we’ll be trying and I’m convinced it will be a spectacular race for the fans.”

Movistar for Giro d’Italia: David Arroyo, Fran Ventoso, Luis Pasamontes, Vasil Kiryienka, Pablo Lastras, Sergio Pardilla, Branislau Samoilau, Ignatas Konovalovas, Carlos Oyarzun

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