The Tour de France might be won in the mountains, but Movistar knows it can be lost in the flats. The Spanish outfit confirmed its Tour Nine on Monday, adding some brawn to its lineup to assure that nimble climber Nairo Quintana survives the Tour’s harrowing first week.
Time trial specialists Adriano Malori and Alex Dowsett punched their tickets to the Tour, along with Colombian climber Winner Anacona. Riders who were on Movistar’s Tour “long list,” such as Juanjo Rojas, José Ventoso, Rory Sutherland, and Eros Capecchi, were left at home.
Movistar boss Eusebio Unzué said the sport directors were searching for balance to round out the team behind Quintana and Alejandro Valverde.
“This team is more balanced in all terrain, which is what we needed,” Unzué said in a team release Monday. “I already said selecting the team for the Giro d’Italia was very difficult, but looking at the riders we left at home, this was even harder. We start with a team of three parts; with climbers like Winner and José, with ‘all-terrain,’ like Gorka or Jonathan, and rolleurs, such as Alex, Adriano or Imanol, who will help us in the flatter stages.”
Unzué also made it clear; Movistar is riding for Quintana, without forgetting Valverde.
“The leadership is clear: Nairo is our principal reference in the race,” Unzué said. “Knowing what can happen in the race, we are not going to say that Alejandro, until the facts prove otherwise, cannot be by his side, at the same, maintaining his possibilities.”
Movistar for the 2015 Tour de France
Nairo Quintana (COL)
Alejandro Valverde (ESP)
Imanol Erviti (ESP)
Jonathan Castroviejo (ESP)
Gorka Izagirre (ESP)
José Herrada (ESP)
Adriano Malori (ITA)
Alex Dowsett (GBR)
Winner Anacona (COL)