• The Movistar team confirmed it would be taking Mikel Landa, Nairo Quintana and Alejandro Valverde at a function at its title sponsor's headquarters (Movistar)Source: Movistar
Nairo Quintana, Mikel Landa and Alejandro Valverde will co-lead at the Tour de France, Movistar has confirmed.
By
Cycling Central

Source:
Movistar Team, Cyclingnews
19 Jun 2018 - 9:37 AM  UPDATED 19 Jun 2018 - 9:39 AM

The co-leadership line up was unveiled at its title sponsor's HQ in Madrid on Monday during a do to celebrate the upcoming Tour de France and the trio's form at the recent Tour de Suisse and Route d'Occitanie.

"We go to the Tour with big hopes to shine," Quintana said in a team statement.

At the function the Colombian spoke more about his recent form at the Tour de Suisse to gathered reporters.

"We saw the other day I was doing well," Quintana told Cyclingnews. "And together with Mikel, we're moving in the right direction. It's a very complicated Tour, but we’ll try to do something."

In regards to leadership he said "anything can happen, it's going to be a very open race, but in the first nine days it will be very important to work in a team."

Valverde too rated himself saying he was "in at least as good a condition as I was before last year's Tour, if not better."

In the team statement the Spaniard emphasised the value of the triumvarate.

“The race will set things straight as usual, but having three chances to win offers us many strategical choices we’ll try to take advantage from.”

In the same statement Landa underlined the roster’s strength: “It’s not just the three of us; with the five team-mates we’ll have at the start with us, the lineup will be one to fear.”

Movistar Team’s general manager Eusebio Unzué told the press the team's initial ambition had been achieved.

"For now, it is mission accomplished, because our initial goal was to get to the Tour with all three riders, in the best condition possible," Unzue said.

“Given the uncertainty about Froome's participation, right now as rivals, we have to consider anybody who has won a Grand Tour who's in the line-up, which is Dumoulin and Nibali, apart from Alejandro and Nairo, of course.

"Then there are riders like Porte, Thomas, Bardet, who are maybe not quite as experienced, but they all have options. So too, does Roglic." But Froome, should he race, Unzue said, "was the top contender by a long way."

Unzue also unveiled his 10 rider shortlist (including Quintana, Valverde and Landa) from which the final eight will be named to start the 2018 Tour de France.

The 10-rider shortlist: Andrey Amador, Daniele Bennati, Imanol Erviti, Nelson Oliveira, José Joaquín Rojas, Marc Soler and Jasha Sütterlin.

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