Alejandro Valverde may be set to make is Giro d’Italia debut in 2016 after Nairo Quintana let slip that his Movistar team want the Spaniard to ride in Italy before helping Quintana win the Tour de France.
Quintana, who finished second to Chris Froome in this year’s Tour, insisted that Valverde would be a more committed teammate at the Tour next season, now that he has achieved a podium finish himself.
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Speaking at an event in the Colombian capital, Bogata, Quintana reiterated his desire to win both the Tour and Olympic Games, although teammate Valverde will provide stiff competition in the latter.
Quintana is quoted as saying in Spanish newspaper AS that Valverde will ride the Giro “and then go to the Tour to accompany me. We have handled different situations and hopefully we will find the right formula to win the Tour.”
Also saying: “I will always be the team leader and the expectation of him [Valverde] next year is to be more committed to help because he has different objectives. He will surely be a great teammate in the Tour de France.”
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Valverde has started 18 Grand Tours in his 14-year career, but the Murcian has never attempted the Giro. The 35-year old has finished in the top 10 in 14 of the 15 three-week races that he’s finished, including an overall win at the 2009 Vuelta a España.
Valverde attended the launch of the Giro route in October and admitted that he would like to ride the Italian race one day, but claimed that 2016 would probably not be that year.
“Of course [I would like to attempt the Giro], although perhaps it is more appropriate this year to prepare for the Tour and Rio,” he said.