Two weeks ago, Movistar Team announced its Tour de France shortlist. Amongst the thirteen names included on it, one was missing. Former UCI Hour Record holder Alex Dowsett seemed to be out of the plans of the Spanish squad. However, things have changed recently and he is now set to help Nairo Quintana in his quest for the yellow jersey the coming July.
In a conversation with Cyclingnews during the aftermath of the Spanish National Championships held today in Cáceres, Movistar Team’s sports director José Luis Jaimerena revealed seven riders who are confirmed to be in the Grand Depart of Utrecht representing Spain’s sole World Tour outfit.
“Nairo Quintana, Alejandro Valverde, Gorka Izagirre, Jonathan Castroviejo, Winner Anacona, Adriano Malori and Alex Dowsett,” Jaimerena disclosed, thus confirming the debut of the British rider in the Grande Boucle. Dowsett himself was unsure of being selected for the Tour last Thursday, when he told Cyclingnews it was “50/50” whether he was going or not.
The remaining two places of Movistar’s Tour de France roster will be allocated in the coming hours between five candidates: Imanol Erviti, José Joaquín Rojas, Fran Ventoso, José Herrada and Rory Sutherland.
Imanol Erviti, who has finished the last five editions of the Tour and is considered a key rider for the squad in his role of road captain, enjoyed a guaranteed spot in Movistar Team’s Tour de France roster until last Friday, when his below par performance in the time trial of the Spanish National Championships raised some doubts. The rider from Navarra refuted those with an impressive performance today in the road race, when he featured in the main breakaway and tore it into pieces only to be chased with 10 kilometers to go. Still, his presence in Utrecht remains in question.
16 riders out of contract
As usual, the National Championships were place for many transfer talks surrounding the Spanish market. Movistar Team was particularly in the center of many conversations, as long as 16 riders of its present roster have their contacts expiring this winter.
Yet, no renewals have been sealed by Eusebio Unzué.
Brothers Gorka and Ion Izagirre are said not to have any offer from Movistar on their table. Jesús Herrada, who delivered an outstanding performance at the European Games of Baku and two bronze medals in the Spanish National Championships, does have four offers from foreign teams but is in talks with Unzué and “most likely” will keep wearing the blue kit in 2016 according to his manager, Juan Campos. Meanwhile, Beñat Intxausti looks close and keen to leave.
To subscribe to the Cyclingnews video channel, click here.