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Movistar announce Tour de France squad

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Nairo Quintana on the attack on the Passo Gardena

Nairo Quintana on the attack on the Passo Gardena
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Alejandro Valverde stretches his legs at the Critérium du Dauphiné

Alejandro Valverde stretches his legs at the Critérium du Dauphiné
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Nairo Quintana descending at the Giro d'Italia

Nairo Quintana descending at the Giro d'Italia
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Nairo Quintana in the peloton on the final mountain stage of the Giro d'Italia

Nairo Quintana in the peloton on the final mountain stage of the Giro d'Italia
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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The Spanish National Championships Road Race was the last race for Alejandro Valverde (Movistar Team) before the Tour de France. The rider was key for the victory of his teammate Jesús Herrada

The Spanish National Championships Road Race was the last race for Alejandro Valverde (Movistar Team) before the Tour de France. The rider was key for the victory of his teammate Jesús Herrada
(Image credit: Alberto Brevers)

Movistar have announced their Tour de France line-up, trimming their long list down to a starting nine.

The Spanish squad are pinning their hopes on three-time podium finisher Nairo Quintana, coming off a runner-up performance at the Giro d'Italia. Although Quintana came up short in the first half of his attempt at Giro-Tour double, Movistar remain confident he has enough left in the tank to contend in the Tour this July.

Teammate Alejandro Valverde dominated his spring campaign, winning both the Volta a Catalunya and the Vuelta al País Vasco before defending his titles at La Flèche Wallonne and Liège-Bastogne-Liège, but he has refuted suggestions of co-leadership. The 37-year-old has stated unequivocally that he will be at the race to "help Nairo [Quintana], and nothing else."

The spots of Quintana and Valverde on the Tour roster were secure. The other seven spots were up for the taking, with Movistar naming 12 riders in the running on their long list.

Spanish national road champion Jesús Herrada, three-time Spanish time trial champ Jonathan Castroviejo, Colombian climber Carlos Betancur, and former Giro top five finisher Andrey Amador are among those who will comprise the strong staff of support riders that Movistar will send to Dusseldorf on Saturday.

Daniele Bennati, Jasha Sütterlin and Imanol Erviti will round out the starting nine, leaving Alex Dowsett, Daniel Moreno, Rubén Fernandez, Nelson Oliveira and José Joaquín Rojas the quintet of long listers missing the cut.