2011 winner unlikely to feature among Movistar’s line-up
2011 Vuelta a España champion Juan José Cobo has admitted he is unlikely to make Movistar’s selection of nine riders for the Vuelta España, that starts in Vilanova de Arousa on August 24.
Speaking prior to the start of the Circuito Getxo, Cobo told Vavel Radio his bad news: “I’m not going to ride the Vuelta.”
Cobo, whose appearance in Getxo was his first race since he finished 116th at the Giro d’Italia at the end of May, explained that the Movistar team would be built around Alejandro Valverde, who is targeting a second Vuelta overall victory. He will be supported by Beñat Intxausti and a strong Movistar squad.
“Movistar is a big team, where all of the riders are very good and it’s difficult to gain selection for a Grand Tour,” admitted the 32-year-old Cantabrian. “I wanted to ride it, but I’m not the one who selects the nine riders, that’s down to the team.”
Cobo added he will now “think about an end-of-season campaign without the Vuelta”. This will include an appearance at the Eneco Tour in Belgium and the Netherlands between August 11-18.
Cobo beat Chris Froome by just 13 seconds to the 2011 Vuelta Espana and moved from the struggling Geox squad to Movistar. However, he has failed to reproduce the form that made him a Grand Tour winner. He finished 67th when riding in defence of his title as a co-leader with Valverde in 2012 and has played a domestique’s role this season.