PARIS (AFP) — Movistar on Thursday announced its pre-Tour de France team, with Alejandro Valverde and Juanjo Cobo — both of whom are former Vuelta a España winners — leading the charge.
A total of 10 riders have been named, with one rider to be taken off the list ahead of the June 30-July 22 three-week epic.
The preliminary roster includes Spaniard Joaquin Rojas, who came close to pipping Mark Cavendish for the sprinters’ green jersey prize last year, as well as Portuguese Rui Costa, who won the stage to Super-Besse in 2011.
The potential Tour riders have trained in Granada, in Spain’s Sierra Nevada mountains, for two weeks. They have completed two training sessions per day in the Andalusian Sierra. Accompanying the riders have been soigneur Juan Carlos Excámez and mechanic Alexander Gubanov.
Movistar Tour de France team (one rider to be omitted before race):
Alejandro Valverde (ESP)
Juanjo Cobo (ESP)
Jose Joaquin Rojas (ESP)
Rui Costa (POR)
David Arroyo (ESP)
Ruben Plaza (ESP)
Imanol Erviti (ESP)
Ivan Gutierrez (ESP)
Vladimir Karpets (RUS)
Vasil Kiryienka (BLR)
Reserves: Ignatas Konovalovas (LTU), David Lopez (ESP)