Movistar launches 3-man attack to end Froome’s Tour reign
CHOLET, France (AP) – Movistar is launching a three-man attack to foil Chris Froome’s quest to win a fifth Tour de France.
Whereas most groups appoint one chief to combat for the title, Movistar says Nairo Quintana, Alejandro Valverde, and Mikel Landa all begin the race on Saturday with equal choices to develop into their No. 1 rider.
“We all the time come right here with excessive hopes, however this 12 months it positively appears like it’s our flip greater than ever to aspire for victory with these three leaders,” Movistar common director Eusebio Unzue mentioned on Friday in western France.
Colombia’s Nairo Quintana greets spectators through the Tour de France biking race workforce presentation in La Roche-sur-Yon, Vendee area, France, Thursday, July 5, 2018, forward of upcoming Saturday’s begin of the race. (AP Picture/Christophe Ena )
“It is plain that this workforce has gotten higher and that we’re coming right here in good place to obtain the purpose of arriving to Paris within the yellow jersey.”
Nevertheless, some rivals query whether or not not having an outlined chief and 7 extra riders tasked to assist him via the grueling 21-stage race will solely create confusion and in-house competitors for Movistar.
Richie Porte, who helped Froome win two Tour titles then left Sky to have his shot at being a prime rider on BMC, mentioned discovering a steadiness with three riders who’re combating for the general classification could be troublesome.
“It’s a difficult one, having a three-prong attack,” Porte mentioned. “It’s nice to have these choices, however you might have to use them correctly. Who is aware of how harmonious it’s on that workforce? It’s arduous sufficient with two leaders, not to mention three.”
Porte received final month’s Tour de Suisse after Movistar fell brief with Quintana ending third and Landa 16th.
Porte mentioned he was aided in Switzerland by what he known as Movistar’s poor race ways. He gave an instance of the workforce ordering Landa to attack into what Porte described as a headwind.
“Hopefully for Landa they’re going to use (their riders) extra well” in France, Porte mentioned.
Quintana, a winner of the Giro d’Italia and the Spanish Vuelta who has twice completed runner-up to Froome on the Tour, mentioned Movistar was accustomed to competing and not using a clear hierarchy. The Colombian climber has shared the highest spot on the workforce for years with Valverde.
“On different events we now have been on this state of affairs of getting multiple chief and we now have recognized how to deal with it,” Quintana mentioned. “It isn’t an issue. Day-to-day the race will determine for us.”
Valverde, at 38 years outdated, mentioned he was almost certainly third within the pecking order behind Quintana and newcomer Landa.
“I’ve come right here a number of instances because the chief and my alternative (to win) has most likely handed,” Valverde mentioned. “Our concept is to win the Tour for Movistar, however they’ve higher possibilities than I do.”
Landa is attempting to observe an identical path to Porte. The Spaniard excelled as a robust assist rider for Froome and former Tour winner Vincenzo Nibali earlier than he signed to Movistar this season.
“The distinction between earlier seasons and this one is that now I can run my very own race,” Landa mentioned. “It is nice to share a number one function with Alejandro and Nairo. I am going to combat to be up there with them, studying as a lot as I can from them, and making the most of my possibilities through the race.”
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Colombia’s Nairo Quintana rides onto the rostrum through the Tour de France biking race workforce presentation in La Roche-sur-Yon, Vendee area, France, Thursday, July 5, 2018, forward of upcoming Saturday’s begin of the race. (AP Picture/Christophe Ena )
4-time Tour de France biking race winner Chris Froome of Britain arrives for a coaching close to Saint-Mars-la-Reorthe, France, Friday, July 6, 2018, forward of Saturday’s begin of the Tour de France biking race. (AP Picture/Peter Dejong)
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