Nairo Quintana will be backed by a solid line-up of riders in Movistar's Tour de France roster - but there's no place for British rider Alex Dowsett
The 27-year-old Colombian goes into the race on July 1 as one of the leading favourites to contend for the overall victory – and he has a solid team to support his ambitions.
Topping the list is Spaniard Alejandro Valverde, who at 37 still shows no sign of slowing down and provides Movistar with a second option for a high general classification placing should Quintana falter. Winner of the 2009 Vuelta a España, Valverde placed third in the 2015 Tour – his best result in the race.
Three further Spanish riders feature in the team: Imanol Erviti, Jonathan Castroviejo and Jesús Herrada. They are joined by Andrey Amador (Costa Rica), Jasha Sütterlin (Germany), Daniele Bennati (Italy) and Carlos Betancur (Colombia) to complete Movistar’s nine-man roster.
Double Tour stage winner Bennati provides an option for the sprints, with Spanish time trial champion Castroviejo always a contender on stages against the clock – one to watch on the opening day of the 2017 Tour in Düsseldorf.
Quintana had set out to try and win both the 2017 Giro d’Italia and Tour, but looked slightly off-form to place second at the Giro behind Dutchman Tom Dumoulin (Team Sunweb) in May.
However, Quintana’s Grand Tour abilities cannot be disputed with victories in the 2014 Giro and 2016 Vuelta a España, plus second places at the Tour in 2013 and 2015, and third in 2016.
The lack of time trial kilometres in this year’s race and number of mountains perhaps play more into Quintana’s hands than that of defending Tour champion Chris Froome (Team Sky).
Richie Porte (BMC), Alberto Contador (Trek-Segafredo) and Romain Bardet (Ag2r) rank among Froome and Quintana’s biggest rivals for the coveted yellow jersey.
The 2017 Tour de France starts with a 14-kilometre individual time trial Düsseldorf on Saturday, July 1, and finishes three weeks later in Paris on Sunday, July 23.