Spaniard returns to race after three-year absence
Igor Antón [Movistar] will return to the Giro d'Italia in 2014 as a super domestique for Nairo Quintana, as the Colombian looks to secure the maglia rosa.
Alongside Antón, the Colombian will be supported by, 2011 third place, John Gadret and Jonathan Castroviejo.
Antón last rode the Giro d'Italia in 2011 where he took victory on the fearsome Monte Zoncolan, ahead of Vincenzo Nibali and Alberto Contador. He looked to be en route to a podium position, but cracked the following day and finished 17th overall. The Giro will return to the Zoncolan in 2014 on the penultimate stage of the race.
In addition to the Zoncolan, the riders will have to tackle eight other summit finishes. The 30-year-old has shown good grand tour talents in the past. In 2010 he seemed like he was on his way to winning the Vuelta a España when he crashed out while wearing the leader's jersey. His best result was 8th in the 2007 Vuelta.
The Spaniard was long part of the Euskaltel-Euskadi team, which folded at the end of this season. At one point it looked like he might have to drop to Pro Continental level to find a contract, but was apparently saved by the nullifying of Alejandro Marque's contract.
Antón is one of four Euskaltel riders to have made the jump to the one remaining Spanish WorldTour team. He will be joined by brothers Gorka and Jon Izagirre, and Juan Jose Lobato from the Basque outfit. His early season will have a distictly Spanish feeling to it with the Challenge Mallorca, the Volta a Catalunya and the Vuelta a País Vasco, before looking to the Ardennes Classics.
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