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Alejandro Valverde and Nairo Quintana
Quintana leads Movistar at Tirreno-Adriatico
The Movistar team has confirmed that Alejandro Valverde will lead the Spanish team at this weekend's Strade Bianche and Roma Maxima one-day races, but the recent Ruta del Sol winner will miss Tirreno-Adriatico and Milan-San Remo after the Pompeiana climb was taken out of the race route.
Valverde showed some impressive form at the recent Ruta del Sol, winning two stages and the overall classification ahead of Richie Porte (Team Sky) and Luis Leon Sanchez (Caja Rural). The dirt roads of the Strade Bianche traditionally suit the Classics riders but the hilly profile and steep climb to the centre of Siena could also see Valverde in contention.
He will be backed by Andrey Amador, Jonathan Castroviejo, Benat Intxausti, Pablo Lastras, Enrique Sanz, Jasha Sütterlin and Fran Ventoso.
Nairo Quintana will join forces with Valverde and his young brother Dayer for Sunday's Roma Maxima race that starts and ends in the Italian capital. The Colombian climber recently became a father but is set to get his season back on track by testing his form in the hilly one-day race.
Quintana will stay in Italy to ride Tirreno-Adriatico that starts on the Tuscan coast on Wednesday March 12. Quintana will face Tour de France rivals Chris Froome (Team Sky) and Alberto Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo) in the week-long Italian stage race, with Saturday's mountain finish on Selvarotonda and Sunday's steep finish in Guardiagrele suiting his climbing skills.
Quintana will be backed by a strong Movistar team that will also target the opening team time trial. Also in the squad are Amador, Igor Antón, Eros Capecchi, Castroviejo, Alex Dowsett, Intxausti, Adriano Malori.
Movistar has also named its squad for Paris-Nice, with new signing John Gadret leading the team on home roads. He has the support of Imanol Erviti, Ivan Gutiérrez, Jose Herrada, Gorka and Ion Izagirre, Jose Joaquin Rojas and Sylvester Szmyd.