Nairo Quintana will not line-up with his Movistar teammates at next week’s Vuelta a Andalucía in order to give him more time to recover from injuries suffered in the Colombian national championships.
The Giro d’Italia winner was a faller in the final kilometre of his home championships, reportedly landing on his back and scraping his elbow, although initial diagnoses did not show any serious damage.
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Movistar will, instead, hand the reigns over to rising stars Juan José Lobato, who won stage two of the Tour Down Under in January, and Javi Moreno.
Quintana’s absence dampens the Ruta del Sol’s star power somewhat, although Tour de France champions Chris Froome and Alberto Contador are scheduled to race there.
Fellow GC contenders Bauke Mollema (Trek Factory Racing), Jean Christophe Péraud (Ag2r-La Mondiale) and Jurgen van den Broeck (Lotto-Soudal) will also be present for the race, which rolls out on February 18.