Movistar brings a deep, experienced, and talented squad to support Nairo Quintana, who is the team’s No. 1 option for the Tour, with Mikel Landa slotting in as a dangerous No. 2 option. Quintana is looking to get back to the podium after early success at the Tour ― he was second in 2013 and 2015, and third in 2016. With so few time trial miles and an abundance of climbs, is this the year that the tiny Colombian breaks the British stranglehold on the Tour? It’s a question to watch throughout the race.
Landa comes to the race having just missed the podium at the Giro d’Italia, despite signs that he may have been the strongest climber in the final week of the race. Landa was Movistar’s best-placed rider at the 2018 Tour, when he finished seventh overall. But the lack of a grand tour podium since the 2015 Giro d’Italia has many wondering if Landa is, indeed, cut out for grand tour leadership.
Supporting the two will be reigning world champion Alejandro Valverde, who took his third Spanish road racing title this June.
After so many near misses at the Tour de France, the 2019 Tour represents the best opportunity for Movistar to win the overall race in years. Yet the Spanish team has elected to leave its newly minted Giro champion Richard Carapaz at home. Supporting Quintana, Landa, and Valverde is a cast of strong climbers in Marc Soler and Andrey Amador, rouleurs Imanol Erviti and Nelson Oliveira, and all-around rider Carlos Verona.
Nairo Quintana, Mikel Landa, Nelson Oliveira, Marc Soler, Alejandro Valverde, Carlos Verona, Andrey Amador, Imanol Erviti