Quintana ready for GC showdown at Tour de Romandie

Movistar rider names Froome, Pinot and Zakarin as his main rivals

Nairo Quintana heads to the Tour de Romandie with Movistar looking for his second GC win of the 2016 season following his  Volta Ciclista a Catalunya victory in March.

"I'm really excited to start this race," Quintana said in a release from his team. "We've brought a really strong team, just like in every other major race."

The 2014 Giro d'Italia winner started his season by finishing third at the Tour de San Luis, a race won by brother Dayer, before winning the WorldTour stage race and then finishing third at the Tour of the Basque Country. Quintana rode the Tour de Romandie for the first time in his career last year, finishing eighth as he then went on to finish second at the Tour de France for the second occasion. 

Having skipped the Ardennes Classics in favour of a training block and a recon of the key Pyrenean stages of the 2016 Tour, Quintana explained he is excited to be pinning on a race number again.

"Training in the last few weeks went well, and we can't wait to get this race going. We hope the weather doesn't turn as bad as it's been forecast, so we can bring the fans the spectacle they always come for."

Quintana considers two-time Tour de France winner Chris Froome (Team Sky), last year's Romandie winner Ilnur Zakarin (Katusha) and 2014 best young rider at the Tour, Thibaut Pinot (FDJ), as his biggest rivals as he explained but added he we also be a rider to watch across the six-stages.

"The rivals are pretty much known from weeks ago, when they race was presented. There's Froome, once again; also Pinot and Zakarin, two men who know this race well and like it even more. And, well, there is also us. We hope to keep it up after previous performances and go for the win," he added.

Giro winner Ryder Hesjedal (Trek-Segafredo), two time Giro runner-up Rigoberto Uran (Cannondale), Rafał Majka (Tinkoff), Romain Bardet (AG2R) and BMC duo Richie Porte and Tejay van Garderen add further star power to the start list that contains several more riders capable of challenging for the podium.

Supporting Quintana's bid for the win is Colombian compatriot Winner Anacona, Jesús Herrada and the Izagirre brothers Gorka and Ion, who have both recovered from gastronenteritis, and neo-pro Antonio Pedrero. José Joaquín Rojas completes the team and provides an option for the stages expected to finish with a sprint finish.

Movistar for Tour de Romandie: Nairo Quintana, Andrey Amador, Winner Anacona, Jesús Herrada, Gorka Izagirre, Ion Izagirre, Antonio Pedrero and José Joaquín Rojas.

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