Valverde and Landa headline Movistar at Milan-San Remo

Roelandts and Bennati bring experience to Spanish team

World champion Alejandro Valverde headlines Movistar’s team for Milan-San Remo, while Mikel Landa will make his comeback from injury at La Classicissima on Saturday.

Landa sustained a broken collarbone in a crash during his first race of the season, the Trofeo Ses Salines, Campos, Porreres, Felanitx at the Challenge Mallorca in January. He has been side-lined ever since, but will ride Milan-San Remo before staying in Italy to tackle next week’s Settimana Coppi e Bartali.

The Basque rider is also expected to line out at the Tour of the Basque Country next month. Landa has stated his intention to ride both the Giro d’Italia and Tour de France in 2019.

Milan-San Remo was a relatively late addition to Valverde’s racing programme, and he will then line out at the Volta a Catalunya, which gets underway 48 hours later. The Spaniard last appeared at Milan-San Remo in 2016, when he placed 16th behind Arnaud Démare.

Valverde is also set to ride at Dwars door Vlaanderen and the Tour of Flanders as part of a busy Spring schedule that will also see him lead the line for Movistar at the Ardennes Classics and the Giro d’Italia. The veteran has one win to his name so far this season, a stage at the UAE Tour.

New signing Jurgen Roelandts also features in the Movistar team for Milan-San Remo, and the Belgian will hope to replicate the kind of form that carried him to third place on the Via Roma in 2016.

"To win Milan-Sanremo myself everything has to go well for me," Roelandts wrote in his blog for Sporza this week. "Fast men like [Fernando] Gaviria, [Elia] Viviani and [Caleb] Ewan would have to be dropped. And if I have good legs, then maybe I can do more than that third place from three years ago."

Movistar’s team for Milan-San Remo is completed by Carlos Betancur, Carlos Barbero, Lluis Mas and Daniele Bennati, who will make his 14th appearance in La Primavera. The Tuscan has finished in the top 10 on three occasions.

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