• The Movistar team on the second rest day of the 2018 Tour de France (Team Movistar)Source: Team Movistar
The much publicised Movistar trident, now perhaps resembling a fork with a cork on the end, vows to shake Sky's cage in the Pyrenees.
By
Cycling Central

Source:
Movistar Team
24 Jul 2018 - 9:23 AM  UPDATED 24 Jul 2018 - 9:46 AM

Landa (at +3:42 behind Geraint Thomas,+2:03 behind Chris Froome) and Quintana (+4:23 to Thomas, +3:44 to Froome) are sixth and eighth overall, with Valverde sitting outside the top 10 at over nine minutes in arrears.

Speaking on the rest day, the blue musketeers vowed to shake things up in the Pyrenees.    

“Our ambition remains to keep making Team Sky suffer," Landa said. "Put them into difficulty – while not forgetting we’re still in sixth and eighth overall, with strong contenders ahead of us, like Roglic or Dumoulin, who should also go for their share of inflicting pain on them." 

"Sky is one man down, an important one as Moscon, who did a great job for them in both the flat and the mountains, so their team should have bigger weakness there.

“Last week we weren’t able to beat them, we weren’t close, but this is a three-week stage race, and historically, the third week was the one where we did better. We’re hopeful about that again this year."

Landa who is still recovering from a back injury he sustained during Stage 9, earmarked Wednesday's short 65 kilometre stage and Friday's killer 200 kilometre with its two hors categorie climbs including the Tourmalet, as the ones to watch. 

“So far it’s been so calm between Thomas and Froome, but it’s obvious that both are very ambitious. Sooner or later, the egos and ambitions of them two will show up.”

“(Wednesday's stage) will be quite different, one which everyone wants to do well at and attack, especially those like us who are way down overall and want to try something.

"On the other hand, Friday’s stage will be tackled with three long weeks on our legs, and probably, those specialists wanting to put more time on us at the ITT will try to save some energy.

"I don’t think anyone can predict well how the GC will look like at the end of the final week."

Landa also pointed out the potential for tension between Thomas and Froome.

“So far it’s been so calm between Thomas and Froome, but it’s obvious that both are very ambitious. Sooner or later, the egos and ambitions of them two will show up.”

Quintana continued in a similar vein.  

“The week we’ve just completed wasn’t anywhere near the best we had hoped for. We went through so many difficulties. We’ve got to fight and we hope things can go well for us in the stages still remaining.

"Our history in the Tour de France says we tend to do better on week three. We’ve got to wait for our moment and also seek weakness on our rivals, which have been – to be honest – really hard to beat so far.

"We hope to have the might and also the intelligence to play our cards well, find some good strategy with our team directors, make Sky suffer and then go for our goals in this race.

“We’ve got three demanding stages ahead of us, especially that short, 65km route on Wednesday, over roads that we know well and we’re convinced can suit our style of racing."

Valverde too stuck to the party line but said his team isn't getting much help from others to derail the Sky train.

“Our aim is to try and isolate the Sky leaders, though we know we’ll need help from other squads, which is something we’re not finding right now.

"Sunweb are ‘lucky’ enough to be riding on others’ wheels. LottoNL-Jumbo, who other than Kruijswijk’s exhibition, has gone with a similar approach, with no real team tactics to try and break the race apart.

"We’d like to have some help from them, as well as other squads, to make Sky suffer. We’ve talked with them at some points of the race, but it’s hard to convince them, because everyone is seeking for their own interest and the strategy they’re developing so far seems to work for them.”