Spanish squad seeking stage wins
The Spanish Movistar team has revealed its final roster for the Giro d'Italia, which begins May 5 in Herning, Denmark. The team of Eusebio Unzué will be comprised of Spaniards José Herrada, Beñat Intxausti, Pablo Lastras, Sergio Pardilla and Francisco Ventoso; Costa Rican Andrey Amador, Belarusian Branislau Samoilau and Italians Marzio Bruseghin and Giovanni Visconti.
José Luis Arrieta and José Luis Jaimerena will be the team's directeurs sportif for the Italian Grand Tour.
"I think we are bringing a really competitive squad to this year's Giro," said Unzué. "It's true that we haven't got a clear leader, a man that plays the role of favourite for the overall podium, but we have talented riders in good form like Intxausti or Pardilla, who can be up front if they do well here. I think that the time has come for them and that they are well prepared to contest the overall. Beñat's victory in Asturias must be a boost for his morale and allows us to confirm he's in great shape."
Unzué also looks to Ventoso and Visconti to contest the sprints in addition to Lastras and Bruseghin, both of whom have Giro d'Italia stage victories in their palmares. "I expect Herrada, Samoilau or Amador to be on the high level they have kept during this season, because they are riders than can bring us a good result in a good day and also win a stage, which is the initial objective for us. We notched up two last year, and even though it's going to be hard, we'll try to repeat that."
After struggling to come to a final decision on the Giro roster, Unzué decided to leave young rider Nairo Quintana off the team. He will instead race the Vuelta Madrid, Tour de Picardie and Criterium du Dauphiné. "He's a very young lad that, despite having much confidence from the team board, could risk suffering too much at the end of the Giro, because he has never raced a three-week stage race and the mountains in this Giro are at the end of the route," Unzué said.