If Mikel Landa had any thoughts that he might lead Movistar at next year’s Tour de France, then current team leader Nairo Quintana has moved to nip any such aspirations in the bud, laying down the law for the next 12 months.
In an interview with Spanish newspaper El Pais, Quintana made it quite clear who would be Movistar’s main man for the 2018 season.
“Eusebio [Unzué, the Movistar manager] made the signing, and everyone will have their place,” Quintana said. “As the team leader that I am, Landa is well received.
“For us it is a great help in races that I had to do to satisfy the team and the sponsor. Before I had to be there and now there will be one more person covering those kind of races
“That means that I will be in the most important races that I believe will get me in good condition to the Tour.”
Watch: 2018 Tour de France route guide
However Quintana said that he hasn’t spoken to his future team-mate, and that there would be a meeting with Unzué and Alejandro Valverde at an upcoming training camp.
“We have not had the chance [to talk] yet, but in a meeting we will talk to Eusebio and Alejandro as well,” Quintana continued.
“We are happy and calm because we know that Landa is a guy who will contribute a lot to the team.”
As for Valverde, the veteran Spanish rider has said that he plans to avoid conflict with Quintana and Landa by skipping the Tour de France in 2018, instead focusing on the Giro d’Italia, Vuelta a España, and the mountainous World Championships in Innsbruck.
The team will likely meet up for its first pre-season camp in November or early December, where riders’ objectives for the 2018 season will be agreed with team management.