Quintana to ride the Vuelta Asturias as final Giro d'Italia preparation

Young Movistar team to back pink jersey favourite

Nairo Quintana will complete his Giro d'Italia preparations by riding the Vuelta Asturias in northern Spain. The three-day race - from Saturday to Monday - will provide Quintana with plenty of climbing and finishes a day before Quintana travels to Sardinia. The Giro d'Italia starts in Alghero on Friday May 5.    

Quintana is aiming to be the first rider since Marco Pantani in 1998 to win both the Giro d'Italia and the Tour de France in the same season. The Colombian has not raced since taking overall victory at Tirreno-Adriatico at the start of March. He has spent the intervening time training at home and made his return to Europe earlier this week. As well as his win at Tirreno-Adriatico, Quintana took overall success at the Volta a la Comunitat in February.

It is the first time that Quintana will ride the Vuelta Asturias since turning professional in 2011. When he won the Giro d'Italia in 2014, Quintana stayed in Europe to compete in the Volta a Catalunya and subsequently spent more than a month out of racing prior to his Giro d'Italia bid.

The 31-year-old José Herrada will be the most experienced rider among the seven riders on the Movistar team that will support Quintana. The rest, including his brother Dayer – who will also ride the Giro d'Italia, are all under the 25.

Movistar is the only WorldTour team riding the Vuelta Asturias, but Quintana could find a challenger in the mountains in the form of his compatriot Julian Arredondo (Nippo-Vini Fantini).

Movistar Team for Vuelta Asturias: Nairo Quintana, Antonio Pedrero, José Herrada, Jorge Arcas, Dayer Quintana, Nuno Bico, Héctor Carretero and Carlos Barbero.

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