At the age of 36, Movistar's Valverde is riding his first Giro with the goal of completing the trio of podium finishes, having achieved this already at the Tour de France and Vuelta a España.
With Landa showing his form at the Giro del Trentino last month, and Nibali finishing well down in the classification, Valverde cites his fellow Spaniard as the one to beat.
"I consider Landa more dangerous than Nibali because of the excellent run of form he showed in Trentino. They, along with [Rigoberto] Uran, [Esteban] Chaves, [Rafal] Majka, [Tom] Dumoulin and [Ilnur] Zakarin will become men to monitor closely," he told Spanish newspaper AS. (opens in new tab)
Who are the 2016 Giro d'Italia contenders?
Valverde begins the Giro as third favourite for the title (opens in new tab) behind Nibali and Landa, but has dismissed the idea that his inexperience in the race will hold him back in his battle for the general classification.
The 2009 Vuelta champion says his years as a professional cyclist and experience from other Grand Tours will hold him in good stead over the next three weeks.
"I think that age and experience help you ride with more focus, with responsibility, and with less tension," he added. "I have inspected the mountain stages with Andrey Amador, and have the support of my team - a united and powerful group."
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Stuart Clarke is a News Associates trained journalist who has worked for the likes of the British Olympic Associate, British Rowing and the England and Wales Cricket Board, and of course Cycling Weekly. His work at Cycling Weekly has focused upon professional racing, following the World Tour races and its characters.
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