Movistar released its list of 10 riders from which it will choose to support Nairo Quintana at next month’s Giro d’Italia.
In total, nine riders will make up the squad’s roster for the first grand tour of the year, the race through Italy that will begin with three stages in Ireland starting on May 9.
After months of debate, it was determined that Quintana would focus on the Giro this season instead of the Tour de France, despite his impressive performance in France last summer that resulted in a second-place overall and a first in the mountains and youth classifications.
“I would have liked to race the Tour again this year, but the team wants me to go to the Giro,” Quintana said in February. “The one who pays has the final say.”
Movistar will pick from these 10 riders for the rest of its Giro roster: Italians Adriano Malori and Eros Capecchi; Polish climber Sylwester Szmyd; Costa Rica’s Andrey Amador; and Spaniards Fran Ventoso, Pablo Lastras, Igor Antón, Jonathan Castroviejo, Gorka Izagirre and José Herrada.
This year’s Giro features five mountaintop finishes, several mid-mountain stages, and three time trials. Quintana will need to rely on Movistar’s climbing specialists — Anton won a mountain stage at the 2011 Giro and has registered two top-10 GC results at the Vuelta — to escort him through the challenging terrain.
Herrada was 12th in last year’s Vuelta, while Szmyd has finished all 22 grand tours he’s started. Amador triumphed in a mountain stage at the 2012 Giro.
“I hope to make another podium, and if it’s possible, to win the Giro,” Quintana said. “I believe it will go well because I will have a strong team supporting me all the time. … I am still young, so it’s better to go step by step.”