The Spanish team banked on their three biggest names finally delivering a long awaited Tour de France victory and depose Team Sky from their run of titles.
The trio underwhelmed during the three weeks though, with the main highlight coming with a stage win for Nairo Quintana to the Col du Portet on stage 17. Valverde never looked as though he would be a designated leader of the team after losing time in the early mountain stages, while both Quintana and Landa failed to make an impact on the GC fight.
Landa eventually finished seventh overall at 7-37 down on Team Sky’s Geraint Thomas, while Quintana finished even further back in 10th at 14-18.
Now the three will head to their team’s home race alongside Giro d’Italia revelation Richard Carapaz, Spanish site AS reports. Team boss Eusebio Unzué said he hoped the riders could recover in time to achieve the “result we weren’t able to obtain here [at the Tour de France].”
“I think the point was somewhat missed when it comes to that idea of having three leaders,” Unzué said.
“They were, in fact, three riders who could have aimed to overall merits, having won Grand Tours or obtained good results in three-week stage races, which allowed us playing more strategical cards.
“But it’s obvious that Alejandro wasn’t aiming at an overall victory, while Nairo and Mikel were hampered by misfortune and crashes. It might haven’t been the reason why they couldn’t achieve the final yellow jersey, but I’m sure it really compromised their result, and they were perfectly capable of getting to a podium if it weren’t for that.
“The Vuelta a España will be our next big goal, together with next Saturday’s Clásica de San Sebastián. Hopefully we’ll have recovered well all riders who are aiming at racing the two Grand Tours, and there, we will focus on achieving the result we weren’t able to obtain here.”
Valverde and Landa are both set to line up for the Clásica de San Sebastián in the Basque Country on Saturday, while Colombian Quintana is unlikely to race again until the start of the Vuelta on August 25.