Not chastened by their experiences at last year’s Tour de France, Movistar are taking a three-pronged approach to the Giro d’Italia this May. The Spanish team will look to Mikel Landa, Andrey Amador and Richard Carapaz for their general classification ambitions.
One notable omission from the team is Alejandro Valverde, who was meant to be riding the Corsa Rosa but had to pull out after a training crash ahead of Liege-Bastogne-Liege.
Given their previous performances, Landa – who is expected to leave the team at the end of the season - is likely to be the team’s best hope for the overall classification. Though, Carapaz has been on fine form recently and will be looking to improve on last year’s performance.
Landa took his first Grand Tour podium at the 2015 Giro d’Italia, after duking it out with his Astana teammate Fabio Aru and eventual winner Alberto Contador. In 2017, he just missed out on the podium at the Tour de France, while riding in support of Chris Froome at Team Sky, while he was Movistar’s best-placed finisher at last year’s Tour with seventh overall.
Landa’s history with the Giro d’Italia has been mixed. After making the podium in 2015, he returned to the race as a leader for Team Sky but was forced to abandon in the second week after falling ill. In 2017, he was joint leader with Geraint Thomas but they were both caught up in a crash caused by a motorbike on stage 9. Landa was able to continue but his GC hopes were done, though he still finished the race with a stage win and victory in the mountains competition.
The 2019 season did not get off to the best start for Landa after he broke his collarbone in a crash. Since returning to action, he took a win at the Coppi e Bartali and finished seventh at Liege-Bastogne-Liege. However, on Sunday, he dropped out of the Vuelta a Asturias due to discomfort in his right foot.
Carapaz turned professional with Movistar in 2017 and made his Grand Tour debut that same year. He was one of the revelations of last year’s Giro d’Italia after winning stage 8 and going on to take fourth overall. Carapaz has had a busy season so far with 32 days of racing under his belt already. His form seemed to be heading in the right direction recently after he took overall victory at the Vuelta a Asturias.
Like his two teammates, Amador has been in the top 10 at the Giro d’Italia in the past. In 2015, he finished just off the podium in fourth place and took eighth the following year, while also wearing the maglia rosa for a day. With plenty of big names within the team’s ranks, Amador rarely gets his own chances at a Grand Tour.
After joining the team in 2017, Hector Carretero will make his Grand Tour debut in Italy, while Lluis Mas is making his first Giro appearance. Antonio Pedrero is back for his second Giro d’Italia while Jose Joaquin Rojas and Jasha Sutterlin will provide both experience and power on the flat.
Movistar team for Giro d’Italia: Andrey Amador, Richard Carapaz, Héctor Carretero, Mikel Landa, Lluís Mas, Antonio Pedrero, José Joaquín Rojas and Jasha Sütterlin.