Movistar hoping to limit their losses on Roubaix cobbles

Mikel Landa (Movistar)

Veteran Classics specialist Daniele Bennati and Movistar teammates Jose Rojas and Imanol Erviti face the arduous task of guiding not one, not two, but three team leaders across the Roubaix cobbles during today’s ninth stage of the Tour de France . Movistar have gone all-in on their assault at the Tour de France this year, selecting Nairo Quintana, Alejandro Valverde and Mikel Landa as joint team leaders in the hope that at least one of them can survive the expected carnage of the cobbles, remain well-placed in the overall classification and go on to fight for the yellow jersey. With eight-man squads at this year’s race, Movistar has just five domestiques to help their big three leaders. Paris-Nice winner Marc Soler and Andrey Amador will play a key role in the mountains and so Bennati, Rojas and Erviti have been doing extra shifts in the first week on the roads ...

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The Fight for White: A Preview of the Young Guns at the Tour

It’s that time of the year again-- time for one of the most anticipated and most-likely-to-be-underwhelming events in the cycling world-- the Tour. While everyone else is caught up in the “Will she, won’t she?” romantic saga between the UCI and Chris Froome or the Three’s Company hijinx of the three Movistar leaders (Unzue is definitely Mr. Roper in this analogy, having been tricked into allowing Landa in), let’s take a look at the portion of the race that may just be the most exciting of this year’s Tour- the young riders’ competition. When it comes to the white jersey classification, I feel like David Wooderson from Dazed and Confused- What I love about these young rider competitions, man, is that I keep getting older, they stay the same age. That age of course, is 25 years old or younger, or more specifically any rider born after January 1, 1993. ...

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‘We are not going to ride for ourselves individually, but we all have a chance to win’: Mikel Landa Q&A

Laura Meseguer 28 Jun 2018 Mikel Landa is back at the Tour with a new team with new aspirations. We talk to him about team leaders, Froome and the World Cup Cyclist: Two weeks ahead of the Tour de France, how are you feeling? Mikel Landa: I’m feeling very good. Right now we’re in the Pyrenees, doing the last recons before heading home for the last week. Cyc: Has your preparation changed much this year compared with previous years? ML: Yes, for the previous two years I’ve been riding the Giro before the Tour, so these last weeks of June were always about keeping the shape and resting. This year, having not ridden the Giro, my preparation has been more progressive so I can start the Tour with a good condition and finish it feeling even better. It’s true that this kind of preparation may lead to uncertainty and I’ve ...

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Movistar rider suspended for adverse analytical finding in his biological passport

Movistar rider suspended for adverse analytical finding in his biological passport

Joe Robinson 28 Jun 2018 Jaime Roson receives suspension for adverse analytical finding in January 2017 when at Caja Rural Young Moivstar climbing talent Jaime Roson Garcia has been provisionally suspended due to an adverse analytical finding in his biological passport. The adverse test finding was returned by Roson while riding for Spanish ProContinental team Caja Rural in January 2017. It is yet to be announced what substance Roson has been flagged for. In a press release, Movistar stated that 'the Abarca Sports organisation received yesterday evening, Wednesday 27th June 2018, an official communication from the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) where it was notified of the provisional suspension of its rider Jaime Rosón García, due to an adverse analytical finding in his biological passport, dated January 2017, nearly one year before joining the team.' Comunicado Oficial / Press Release: pic.twitter.com/NEKK8cA3i8 — Movistar Team (@Movistar_Team) June 28, 2018 The team then ...

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Movistar sending veterans to support three Tour de France leaders

Alejandro Valverde, Nairo Quintana and Mikel Landa - Movistar training on the Paris-Roubaix cobbles

The Movistar team has chosen its most dedicated and experienced veteran domestiques to support its trio of general classification contenders Nairo Quintana , Mikel Landa and Alejandro Valverde at the Tour de France. 24-year-old Marc Soler, the winner of Paris-Nice, is the least experienced, with only one Grand Tour under his belt - last year's Vuelta a Espana. The other four riders selected - Andrey Amador, Daniele Bennati, Jose Joaquin Rojas and Imanol Erviti have a combined total of 66 Grand Tours between them. The 2018 Tour de France begins in the Vendee region of western France on Saturday July 7 and ends in Paris on Sunday July 29. The three-week Grand Tour includes a 35.5km team time trial and a stage on the cobbles of Paris-Roubaix. The Alps come before Pyrenees with the 31km stage 20 time trial expected to decide the final overall winner. Landa told Marca last ...

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Quintana, Valverde and Landa 'all ready and in great shape' for Tour de France

Alejandro Valverde, Nairo Quintana and Mikel Landa - Movistar training on the Paris-Roubaix cobbles

'Mission accomplished' was how longstanding Movistar team manager Eusebio Unzue presented his three leaders - Nairo Quintana , Mikel Landa and Alejandro Valverde - for this year's Tour de France on Monday in Madrid. "They're all ready and in great shape for July." Being sure that all three top names were in ideal condition to challenge for the Tour de France was easier said than done, but as the triumvirate of leaders took to the stage in Movistar’s glitzy Madrid headquarters, both the riders and their manager insist there is every sign they are on track to give their best in the Tour de France. Valverde comes to the Tour fresh from winning the Route d'Occitaine for the first time in his career, and is - as he said - "in at least as good a condition as I was before last year's Tour, if not better." Quintana has come ...

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Who are the favourites for the Criterium du Dauphine?

Joe Robinson 31 May 2018 The Tour de France current raiser starts this Sunday and we here are the riders to watch This Sunday sees the start of the 70th Criterium du Dauphine . The week long stage race acts as the traditional curtain raiser for the Tour de France and often proves the final warm-up race for those riders gunning for yellow at the Grande Boucle. In order to attract cycling's biggest stars, the Dauphine often borrows the route of certain key stages of the Tour later that summer. This year is no exception with two stages mirroring that of this year's Tour de France. Firstly will be the Stage 3 team time trial from Pont-de-Vaux to Louhans-Chateaureanaud. Although not the same route as the Tour, both will be 35km in length representing a chance for teams to practise the art of riding as a team against the clock ...

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Chinese Gooseberries, Movistar’s Dilemma, and Less is More: My 3 Concluding Ramblings on the Giro

1. High Profile Kiwis This Giro caused the most media attention for a Kiwi, in both person and fruit form, since Sir Edmund Hillary scaled Mount Everest As to the person variety, noted New Zealander George Bennett placed 8th in GC, which by my calculation is the best placing of any New Zealander in the Giro and in any of the grand tours. Bennett is 28 years old and has been a professional since 2012, so it remains unseen that he can continue to improve, particularly with a non-exceptional time trial ability and a hold-on-for-dear-life GT riding style. However, Bennett virtually assured himself staying in the spotlight after his comments on Froome following in the footsteps of Floyd on the Finestre. His now infamous first comment, of course, was “He did a Landis. Jesus!” However, for my money, I thought his follow up was the real money line. “I didn’t ...

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Week 10’s Team of the Week + More

Races of the week: Just one race this week, the Tour of Romandie Team of the week: And because there was just one race, there’s just three riders on this week’s team. First named rider is the rider of the week and if a rider has a number in parentheses after their name it means the number of times they have made the select Team of the Week here. 1. Primoz Roglic. Wins Romandie almost wire to wire. Second on points. Masterful defense since stage 2 and especially on stage 3 : wouldn't let Bernal go and then pipped him at the finish line for second on the stage. serious competitor. Now we get to watch him sandbag prior to the Tour-which he could win. Next race for him is the Tour of Slovenia. 2. Egan Bernal. 2nd at Romandie, winner of the youth jersey, 2nd on KOM, 3rd on ...

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Amstel and the Ardennes: Who’s The Alpha Wolf?

This week is a time of transition. Seeing Tim Wellens, and his Lotto-Soudal team, take the victory in Brabantse Pijl yesterday, with nary a Quick Stepper to be found anywhere near the podium, was itself a break in the clouds that have hung over every other team in the sport. Wellens, too, is from the class of climbers who might dip their toes in the cobbled classics (Wellens started the Omloop) but are long gone once the action shifts to Compiègne. It’s time to climb, and that point will be driven home with brute force Sunday at the Amstel Gold Race. This is a great week, for multiple reasons, and one I’d like to stop to appreciate is the fact that all three of the Big Events is both a men’s and women’s race day. This triple pleasure took hold last year when Amstel revived its women’s event, and the ...

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Cobbled rankings: part the third

A team by team look at the 2018 and 2019 cobbled seasons The cobbled season ended in the Roubaix velodrome, as ever. You might think it finished in Overije when Tim Wellens won Brabantse Pijl, to which I’d point out that Tim Wellens won, so we won’t be calling that a cobbled race. What’s that? Tro-bro? Oh, c’mon. It’s a great race, but we have to draw the line somewhere, and I’d like to end with a cracking edition of a fabled monument, thank you very much. Let’s try again. The cobbled season is over. Time, then, to brace myself, put on my heavy gloves and ear defenders, and give Cuddles one last chance to make himself heard. Apart from his comments, which could go anywhere, I’m going to try and shift the focus a little bit towards next year, and look at reasons to be hopeful, and less hopeful, ...

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Valverde, Quintana and Landa preview Tour de France cobbles - Gallery

Alejandro Valverde, Nairo Quintana and Mikel Landa - Movistar training on the Paris-Roubaix cobbles

Alejandro Valverde , Nairo Quintana and Mikel Landa are Movistar 's three potential overall contenders for this year's Tour de France . Two days after Paris-Roubaix , all three were out training on some of the same pavé sectors that will be used in stage 9 at the French Grand Tour in July. The three riders, along with teammates Imanol Erviti, Marc Soler and Jasha Sütterlin, previewed the 15 cobbled sectors that will used in stage 9's 154km race from Arras Citadelle to Roubaix. Combined, those sectors will amount to 21.7km of racing. "What we wanted here was to get a real feeling about the terrain: how you enter and tackle every sector, which ones of them could be key – it's obvious that it will all be a different story when you're racing and into a furious peloton, but I'm sure this recon will really help us a lot," ...

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Movistar Grand Tour trio head to Roubaix cobbles

Movistar Grand Tour trio head to Roubaix cobbles

Joe Robinson 10 Apr 2018 Valverde, Quintana and Landa ride the cobbles ahead of 2018 Tour de France The Movistar Grand Tour General Classification trio of Alejandro Valverde, Nairo Quintana and Mikel Landa have headed to the cobbles of northern France in preparation for this year's Tour de France . The Spanish WorldTour team took to the pave today in preparation for Stage 9 of this year's Tour from Arras to Roubaix, which will contain a total of 15 sectuers of pave. %u270A%uD83D%uDC4A #RodamosJuntos @letour #TDF2018 @Paris_Roubaix pic.twitter.com/iNFnmLrvUM — Movistar Team (@Movistar_Team) April 10, 2018 The three riders will all go in to this year's Tour as joint leaders for GC with the overall leader being decided during the race. Potential time loss on the cobbles could be a significant factor in who becomes the primary leader. The leading trio were joined by teammates Jasha Sutterlin and Imanol Erviti - ...

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Soler shines in Paris-Roubaix debut

Marc Soler (Movistar) in Paris-Roubaix

Marc Soler became the first reigning Paris-Nice champion to ride Paris-Roubaix in some 30 years on Sunday and while the Spaniard might not have been able to do what Sean Kelly did in 1984 and '86, when he won both races in the same season, the Movistar rider put in an impressive performance nevertheless. 24-year-old Soler got well and truly stuck into the Hell of the North and was one of six riders, which eventually became nine, to jump clear after a frenetic 50 kilometres of racing. As his companions dropped off one by one, Soler was still there, making it through the Trouée d'Arenberg and beyond before he was eventually caught and passed by a charging Zdenek Stybar with 64 kilometres to go. Unaware that he had eventually abandoned, Cyclingnews set off in search of him in the track centre in Roubaix. "He was finished," the response came from ...

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After a long-range attack, Sagan takes a definitive victory at Paris-Roubaix

World champion Peter Sagan answered all critics and crossed a major career objective off his list Sunday with a demonstrative, emphatic victory at Paris-Roubaix. The Bora-Hansgrohe star attacked from 54km to go, caught the remnants of the daylong breakaway, and then outsprinted Sylvain Dillier (Ag2r La Mondiale) to take his second Monument. Last weekend’s Tour … The post After a long-range attack, Sagan takes a definitive victory at Paris-Roubaix appeared first on CyclingTips .

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Peter Sagan wins an enthralling Paris-Roubaix

Peter Sagan wins an enthralling Paris-Roubaix

Joe Robinson 8 Apr 2018 After attacking with more than 50km remaining, Sagan finally takes the 'Queen of the Classics' Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) wins the 2018 Paris-Roubaix outsprinting Silvain Dillier (AG2R La Mondiale) who managed to cling on from the day's original break. Sagan made the winning move from an astonishing 53km out, dropping a group containing most of the day's favourites. He caught the remnants of the day's break and was eventually joined by Dillier with both riders going clear. The World Champion managed to make this move stick despite the best efforts of those behind. The real warrior of the day was Silvain Dillier (AG2R La Mondiale). The Swiss road champion made the original break of the day managing to stay with Sagan when all others could not. The is the World Champion's second Monument after the 2016 Tour of Flanders and no doubt further's his legendary status. ...

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Peter Sagan and Valverde climb WorldTour rankings

Peter Sagan wins Gent-Wevelgem 2018

After a busy week of WorldTour racing, it is all change at the top of the men’s standings. Alejandro Valverde ( Movistar ) has jumped from sixth to the top of the individual men's WorldTour rankings after claiming his third Volta a Catalunya title, while Peter Sagan ( Bora-Hansgrohe ) also surged up the rankings from 14th to second thanks to his win at Gent-Wevelgem . Valverde won two stages on his way to overall success at Catalunya, putting him to the top of the unofficial victory list too, with eight to his name already. Valverde went into the final stage with a slim 16-second advantage over Team Sky’s Egan Bernal, but his victory was all but sealed when Bernal crashed in the final kilometres. Movistar went on to dominate the podium, with Nairo Quintana taking second, while Pierre Latour (AG2R La Mondiale) edged out Simon Yates (Mitchelton-Scott) for the ...

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Persistence pays off for Simon Yates at Volta a Catalunya

Simon Yates (Mitchelton-Scott) wins the final stage of Volta a Catalunya

A gutsy series of late attacks by Simon Yates ( Michelton-Scott ) in the Volta a Catalunya was rewarded with a fine lone stage 7 win for the British climber. Yates could not quite make the overall podium, however, finishing behind overall winner Alejandro Valverde and runner-up Nairo Quintana (both Movistar), while Pierre Latour (AG2R La Mondiale) was third overall. Yates finished in fourth with the same time as Latour. Yates said he was still delighted to have got a stage win after tenacious racing by Michelton-Scott in the teeth of Movistar's domination of the entire Volta a Catalunya. His first late-race move was when he bridged across to a break of nine on the hilly Montjuic circuit, shortly after teammate Daryl Impey had already made his own move across to the lead attack. When that nine-rider break was brought back, Yates dug deep and went again, managing to drop ...

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Valverde equals Indurain in Volta a Catalunya victories

Alejandro Valverde (Movistar)

For a third time in nine years, Alejandro Valverde ( Movistar Team ) has once again claimed the overall win in the Volta a Catalunya , equalling Miguel Indurain's hat-trick of victories in cycling's third oldest stage race . Memories of his terrible crash in the 2017 Tour de France are surely fading fast in Valverde's rear mirror, as the seemingly unstoppable rider has now racked up 116 victories in his palmares. Catalunya is the third stage race win of his 2018 season and second WorldTour event after the Tour of Abu Dhabi. As dominant as when he won Catalunya in 2017, and with an even stronger back-up squad, Valverde claimed two stage wins, the individual GC and the King of the Mountains. After the stage 7 finale, Movistar also went home with second place for Nairo Quintana, and fifth overall for Marc Soler. Movistar also won the best team ...

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Volta a Catalunya: Simon Yates wins final stage, Valverde takes overall

Simon Yates (Mitchelton-Scott) wins the final stage of Volta a Catalunya

Alejandro Valverde ( Movistar ) had to fight every metre of the way to win his third Volta a Catalunya in a dramatic, crash-ridden finale that saw second-placed Egan Bernal (Team Sky) abandon the race injured, and Simon Yates (Michelton-Scott) take the stage win. The defending champion responded personally to several attacks by Bernal and Yates on a tumultuous series of multiple 6.6-kilometre laps of the slippery, hilly final circuit through the Montjuic Park in Barcelona. Yates went clear first with teammate Daryl Impey, then formed a four-rider attack with another Michelton-Scott rider, Carlos Verona. He finally dropped Valverde’s teammate Marc Soler - who had beaten the Briton recently in Paris-Nice - to claim the stage win alone. Valverde, however, remained the overall leader, taking the Volta a Catalunya ahead of Nairo Quintana - the overall winner in 2016 - and Pierre LaTour (AG2R La Mondiale). It was Valverde’s third ...

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