Defending champion Juan José Cobo will lead a Movistar team that includes Alejandro Valverde into the 67th Vuelta a España on Saturday.
“This is our biggest goal of the season, together with the Tour (de France),” said general manager Eusebio Unzué in a release. “At the start, our expectations are to be on the overall podium. The strong field of contestants makes us be cautious to think about winning, but obviously, we can’t rule it out.”
Joining the pair will be Beñat Intxausti, Nairo Quintana, Javi Moreno, Jonathan Castroviejo, Pablo Lastras, Imanol Erviti and José Joaquín Rojas.
“We start with Juanjo Cobo as team lead,” said Unzué. “Last year, he proved he can fight for a grand tour as he beat a strong rider like (Sky’s Chris) Froome, who could have been the Tour winner this season. After that, there’s a question mark over Alejandro, who already has a huge season schedule on his legs, but his willingness and the brilliance he always brings to the squad makes us sure he will be making another effort to fight for a stage victory, to say the least.”