Spain | Team website

Having been around in some guise since 1980, the Spanish super-team have seen it all, from 13 Grand Tour wins to their fair share of doping scandals.

They got off to a slow start under Movistar sponsorship in 2011, but welcomed back Alejandro Valverde from his two-year suspension and signed young GC prospect Nairo Quintana in 2012 — and they haven’t looked back since.

Moreover, they’ve assembled a talented squad with riders who might be in contention for leadership in smaller teams, including the likes of Andrey Amador, as well as versatile sprinter Juan José Lobato and several time trial specialists in Jonathan Castroviejo, Adriano Malori and Britain’s Alex Dowsett.

For the 2017 season, Nairo Quintana led the squad at the Giro d’Italia, finishing second.

Having won the Giro d’Italia in 2014 at the age of 24, placing second in 2015 and third in 2016, Quintana has plenty of past form on the roads of Italy.

The Columbian rider was targetting a win at both the Italian Grand Tour, as well as the Tour de France for 2017. He’s listed on the Tour de France start list, of course, alongside Alejandro Valverde, Daniele Bennati, Johnathan Castroviejo and Daniel Moreno.

 

Movistar ride behind Team Sky (Sunada)

Nairo Quintana, Alejandro Valverde and their Movistar teammates at the Tour de France (Sunada)

The aim for 2016 was for 2014 Giro d’Italia champion Quintana to take the next step up and win the Tour de France ahead of Chris Froome (Team Sky).

He eventually finished third behind Froome and Romain Bardet (Ag2r), but can take heart from the fact he beat the former when they met several weeks later at the final Grand Tour of the year, the Vuelta a España, his second career Grand Tour win.

Their veteran stalwart Valverde maintained his incredible consistency again in 2016, riding all three Grand Tours (taking two top-10s in the Giro and the Tour) as well as adding another victory in La Flèche Wallonne to his palmarès.

While Valverde is likely to refocus his coming campaign on taking more one-day victories (with a possible ride at the Tour of Flanders), the team will undoubtedly focus their main efforts on Quintana’s goal of winning a maiden Tour title.

Movistar will also look to hold on to it’s number one team spot in the UCI WorldTour rankings, a prize they have now won in four consecutive seasons.

Movistar announced the re-signing of Colombian Dayer Quintana on Thursday, finalising their men’s 2018 WorldTour roster. The Spanish squad’s team has dropped from 28 riders to 25, reflecting a reduction…