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“He prepared ideally for this Vuelta. He did what he had to do which was to rest with his family and recuperate. He avoided travelling too much by not doing the Olympics and now he’s here and ready to go."

Photo: A.S.O.






19.08.2016 @ 18:04 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Led by Nairo Quintana and Alejandro Valverde, taking part in his third grand Tour of the season, Team Movistar feature among the favourites ahead of the start of the Vuelta in Galicia. A little disappointed by his third place in the Tour de France behind Chris Froome and France’s RomainBardet, Nairo Quintana did what it took to do well in this Tour of Spain after finishing fourth a year ago.


“He prepared ideally for this Vuelta. He did what he had to do which was to rest with his family and recuperate. He avoided travelling too much by not doing the Olympics and now he’s here and ready to go. He will be fine, for sure,” said his team director Jose Luis Arrieta.


With several “explosive” uphill finishes, which do not ideally suit his qualities, the Colombian obviously pinned down the 14th stage at the top of Aubisque and the penultimate stage finish at Alto de Aitana.


“They are on paper the two stages which suit him best,” said Arrieta, adding that the Vuelta was prone to surprises.


Before getting that far, the participation of Alejandro Valverde is an intriguing one, knowing that the relentless Murcian is taking part in his third three-week race of the season at 36.


“We took him because he asked us to. It might look a bit too much. But he has the motivation and he insists he’s on form despite taking part in the Giro, the Tour and the Olympics,” said Arrieta.


“He rode a good third week on the Tour and did not look too tired from the Giro. Here, by contrast, I expect the third week to be a little bit too hard for him. But he means to have fun and it’s good for the public and for our sponsors to have him with us,” he added.


The opening team time trial between Ourense and the Castrelo de Mino nautical park could also suit Movistar.


“It’s a discipline in which we have often done well and taken some time off our opponents. It’s not very predictable but we have worked hard on it,” Arrieta said.


The Spanish team director sees Froome, Quintana and Alberto Contador lead the field but also expects surprises in the three weeks ahead:


“The Vuelta is a great race to show yourself. We saw it last year with riders like Esteban Chaves, who is back this year. And there will be more revelations”, he said.



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