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Movistar confirms reduced roster for 2018

Movistar becomes the third WorldTour team to confirm a reduced roster going into 2018.

Spain’s lone WorldTour team will trim its men’s lineup from 28 to 25 for next season. At the same time, the outfit revealed its final signing to round out the 10-rider roster for its debut women’s team.

Spain’s Gloria Rodríguez becomes the latest and final rider who will join Movistar’s move into the women’s peloton next year. The time trial specialist will bolster the new squad set to become the sixth women’s team associated with a men’s WorldTour squad.

On the men’s side, Dayer Quintana, the younger brother of Colombian star Nairo Quintana, finalizes the team’s roster for 2018. Like his brother, Dayer is a climber, who won a stage at the Tour of Austria as well as the overall at the Tour de San Luís in 2016.

Like other teams across the WorldTour, Movistar is reducing its roster heading into 2018. It will race with 25 riders, compared to 28 this season. Teams are citing the new rule to scale back grand tour rosters from nine to eight as the primary reason why they need to carry fewer riders next season.

Coming on the heels of confirmations from BMC Racing and UAE-Emirates, Movistar follows a new trend inside the peloton going into 2018. Between those three teams, there are 12 fewer WorldTour roster spots going into next season. Some of those reductions come via retirements, but teams are cutting their squad sizes across the peloton.

The powerful Spanish team brings four new riders for 2018, including one of the most interesting signings of the season with Mikel Landa (Sky). The move has already created headlines as Landa and Quintana traded barbs in the newspaper last week.

Other new recruits include Jaime Roson (Caja Rural), Eduardo Sepúlveda (Fortuneo), and Rafael Walls (Lotto-Soudal).

The team sees several riders leaving, including Adriano Malori, who retired this year following his horrific crash in 2016.

Other departures include Jonathan Castroviejo (Sky), Alex Dowsett (Katusha-Alpecin), Rory Sutherland (UAE-Emirates), Gorka Izagirre (Bahrain-Merida), and Jesús and José Herrada, both to Cofidis. Dani Moreno has been linked to a move to Education First-Drapac.

Movistar finished the 2017 WorldTour rankings in sixth, with 31 victories across the season. Alejandro Valverde’s crash in the opening stage of the Tour de France soured the team’s hopes in the second half of the campaign. Quintana finished second in the Giro d’Italia, but ended the Tour in a disappointing 12th in the Colombian’s Giro-Tour attempt.

Next year, Quintana will put the Tour at the center of his season, with Landa and Valverde expected to lead at the other grand tours.

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