The Movistar team will have arguably the strongest team in the Il Lombardia peloton on Sunday, with new world champion Rui Costa, Alejandro Valverde, Nairo Quintana and Italy's Giovanni Visconti all on form and capable of winning the last major classic of the season.
The Movistar riders studied the final part of the Lombardia race route on Friday afternoon, riding the final 90km, including the steep Muro di Sormano and the final climb to Villa Vergano, which is decisive in the new race route.
Costa celebrated his 27th birthday with his teammates today and will be hoping to ride well in his first race as world champion. His best result in three rides is 25th place in 2009 and 2011. He finished 38th last year but his strong and intelligent performance in Florence showed he is at his very best.
"I can't wait to race in the rainbow jersey," Costa told Gazzetta dello Sport after collecting his new Movistar rainbow jersey.
"It's clear that the race will be decided on the Villa Vergano climb and we've got to have a numerical superiority."
Movistar will decide their race tactics during the race, considering the expected rain and the way the race evolves.
The final climb is perfect for a solo attack by Quintana but all four Movistar team leaders should be in the final selection that is expected to form on the climb up to Madonna del Ghisallo chapel, with just 46km left or race. Visconti and Valverde are both fast finishers and could win the sprint in Lecco if a small group finishes together.
"We won't have a designated leader, we'll decide things as the race goes on. All my riders are on form, even Quintana, who wasn't lucky at the world championships," directeur sportif Chente Garcia Acosta said.
Movistar for Il Lombardia: Andrey Amador, Eros Capecchi, Rui Costa, Jesús Herrada, Beñat Intxausti, Nairo Quintana, Alejandro Valverde and Giovanni Visconti
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