Nairo Quintana to ride Memorial Marco Pantani ahead of World Championships

Nairo Quintana (Movistar) is set to make one more racing appearance ahead of the World Championships road race next week. The Colombian will ride the Italian one-day race Memorial Marco Pantani on Saturday along with recovering teammate Mikel Landa, who confirmed earlier this week that he will not be racing at the Worlds in Innsbruck.

The near-200-kilometre race will give Quintana a chance to test his legs after finishing the Vuelta a España last weekend.

Quintana rode the Vuelta having already contested the overall classification at the Tour de France in July. After showing some good signs towards the end of the second week of racing, he began to waver and would eventually be put to work as a super domestique for Alejandro Valverde. He would declare his Vuelta a disappointment after riding into Madrid last Sunday in eighth place overall.

Landa was supposed to join Quintana and Valverde at the Vuelta but was forced to sit it out after fracturing a vertebra and a rib in a crash at the Clásica San Sebastián. He had also been tentatively named in Spain’s line-up for the World Championships but told selector Javier Minguez that he would not be fit enough to ride after pulling out of his return to racing at the Giro della Toscana earlier this week. Landa rode the Coppa Sabatini on Thursday, but would drop out of that too.

Quintana and Landa will be joined by Jorge Arcas, Rubén Fernández, Dayer Quintana, Jose Joaquin Rojas and Eduardo Sepúlveda. Of the seven riders named for the race, Sepúlveda is also set to ride the Worlds road race, while Arcas is in contention for a spot in the time trial.

The Memorial Marco Pantani is 199.8 kilometres long and a circuit that contains the classified climb, which the riders will take on three times. The peloton will then transition into a finishing circuit before the finish line Cesenatico. The flat circuit makes it hard for the climbers to win at the end of the day but the multiple climbs ensure that the race concludes in a reduced sprint or a breakaway. Amore & Vita-Selle SMP’s Marco Zampraella beat Diego Ulissi and Egan Bernal to take the win last season.

Movistar for the Memorial Marco Pantani: Nairo Quintana, Mikel Landa, Jorge Arcas, Rubén Fernández, Dayer Quintana, José Joaquin Rojas and Eduardo Sepúlveda.

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