Having finished atop the 2013 UCI WorldTour team rankings, Movistar is looking to start the defence of their crown strongly at the Tour Down Under. At the first WorldTour event of the year, Movistar is sending several experienced riders capable of winning the race and stages.
Juan Jose Lobato makes his first appearance with the team having moved across from Euskaltel-Euskadi. Javier Moreno, who was second overall in 2013 and won the mountains classification, will lead the team. Giovanni Visconti is the only non-Spanish rider on the squad and will be on hand to help out Moreno.
In recent years Movistar has had success at the Australian race with stage wins, podium finishes and victory in the team classification.
Santos Tour Down Under race director Mike Turtur said the Movistar Team was going from strength to strength. "Spain has traditionally produced very impressive cyclists, and its climate and terrain are good preparation for the challenges of the Santos Tour Down Under," Turtur said.
Completing the seven man squad are Iván Gutiérrez, Imanol Erviti, Rubén Plaza and José Joaquín Rojas.
While the Tour Down Under is being held, the team will also be present at another southern hemisphere race, Argentina’s Tour de San Luis. New recruit Adriano Malori, who moved from Lampre-Merida, makes his debut for the team at the race. Dayer Quintana will also ride his first race in the blue of Movistar at San Luis and is joined by brother Nairo.
The South American race has plenty of mountains in its seven-day route with three mountain-top finishes in the Mirador Potrero, El Amago and the Mirador del Sol. The race concludes with a 19 kilometer time trial around the region's capital.
Nairo Quintana will begin his season at the race as part of the six man team which also features Andrey Amador, Beñat Intxausti and Fran Ventoso.
Movistar 2014 Tour Down Under team: Imanol Erviti, Iván Gutiérrez, Juan Jose Lobato, Javier Moreno, Rubén Plaza, José Joaquín Rojas and Giovanni Visconti
Movistar 2014 Tour de San Luis team: Andrey Amador, Beñat Intxausti, Adriano Malori, Dayer Quintana, Nairo Quintana and Fran Ventoso.
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