By Jonny Long
Alejandro Valverde is set to miss the final Monument of 2019, Il Lombardia, with other Movistar heavyweights selected to lead the line for the Spanish outfit according to the provisional start list put out by the organisers.
The former world champion will still be riding in Italy this week, at Tre Valli Varesine on Tuesday October 8 and Milan-Turin the following day.
Instead, two outgoing Movistar riders will lead the line at Il Lombardia, in what will likely be one of their final races for the Spanish team.
One is Mikel Landa, who will reunite with Rod Ellingworth at Bahrain-Merida next year, having previously worked with the coach at Team Sky.
The other is Nairo Quintana, who will move to Arkéa-Samsic after eight years at Movistar, with whom he was won two Grand Tours. His new French team will be moving up to the WorldTour next year, and so Quintana, Landa and Valverde could all be racing against each other in a matter of months.
All three 2019 Grand Tour winners were expected to be lining up for the Italian Monument, but Giro d'Italia victor Richard Carapaz will instead race the Gran Piemonte on Thursday October 10 alongside Tour de France winner Egan Bernal.
The Ineos rider and Primož Roglič will both ride Il Lombardia, with Roglič showing his form at Giro dell'Emilia last weekend, sealing victory with an attack up the San Luca climb he previously dominated in the individual time trial on the opening stage of this year's Italian Grand Tour.
Valverde will now sport a regulation Movistar jersey for the first time in a year, having passed the rainbow bands onto Denmark's Mads Pedersen (Trek-Segafredo), who emerged victorious at the Yorkshire World Championships.
The 39-year-old's blue Movistar jersey will have one alteration, though. A Spanish flag wraparound due to his third Spanish national road race victory in June.
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