Alejandro Valverde and Nairo Quintana will ride the Vuelta a España according to their team boss, with the rest of the lineup looking great too

Movistar duo Nairo Quintana and Alejandro Valverde will both head to the Vuelta a España, according to team manager Eusebio Unzue.

On the second Tour rest day, the duo sit second and fourth respectively but are some way off the pace of Chris Froome. With Quintana choosing not to defend his 2014 Giro d’Italia title, the Vuelta could be his best chance of Grand Tour victory this season.

Unzue insists his team is strongest when Quintana and Valverde ride together, which is what they’ll do in the Vuelta, starting August 22.

“When they are together the team improves a lot, separate weakens us,” he told Biciciclismo. “And, although sometimes they can fight for common goals, everyone is ready to support whoever is better; and they are available to work for each other at all times.

“That is our strength and of the success of this team.”

Another struggling Tour rider, Vincenzo Nibali, could try to make amends at the Vuelta, having struggled badly and even been stripped of the Astana leadership in the race.

The Kazakh team could put out a formidable nine-man team, with Fabio Aru and Mikel Landa – second and third in the Giro – also rumoured to be targeting the race.

Froome also dropped a hint that he will ride the Vuelta, having said he would be prepared to undergo physiological testing between the Tour and Vuelta to prove the legitimacy of his performances.

Eight-time stage winner Joaquim Rodriguez – winner of two Tour stages this year – has also been mooted as a starter, as have Fabian Cancellara and Tom Dumoulin, both of whom crashed out of the Tour on stage three.

 Check out Chris Froome’s Tour de France bike

  • briantrousers

    You’re missing the fact that since I posted my original comment, the journo in question (or A.N.Other) has re-edited the article to remove the word “lacklustre”.

    Obviously a simple note in the comments from the Ed. would have cleared this up but hey-ho…

  • eminusx

    Me neither, seems justified to say they’re off the pace (over 3mins back) and may wish to ride the final GT of the year… wow, touchy!

  • Brendan Power

    Perhaps I’m missing something, but I can’t find any trace of ‘lacklustre’ in the story. It does mention that they are some way off the pace, which is factual.

  • Aurelio

    The way that the sentence was writen it feels like only first place is a good performance. Patetic.

  • blemcooper

    Not to mention 1st in the team classification.

  • briantrousers

    By what idiotic journalist measure do you consider 2nd and 4th overall “lacklustre”?!!!