Intxausti, Lastras, Pardilla, Amador, Samoilau, Bruseghin, Ventoso, Visconti and José Herrada will wear the Blue jersey during the 95th Giro d'Italia starting in Denmark on Saturday
After big success achieved in the competitions held in the last weekend -a stage victory (Jesús Herrada) and the overall (Intxausti) in Asturias and an overall podium finish (Rui Costa) in the Tour de Romandie-, Eusebio Unzué has chosen the nine riders that will repesent Movistar Team in the 95th Giro d’Italia starting in Herning, Denmark on Saturday. The telephone squad, which will be directed by José Luis Arrieta and José Luis Jaimerena, will be composed by Spaniards José Herrada, Beñat Intxausti, Pablo Lastras, Sergio Pardilla y Fran Ventoso; Costa Rican Andrey Amador, Belarusian Branislau Samoilau and Italians Marzio Bruseghin and Giovanni Visconti.
QUOTES Eusebio Unzué: “I think we are bringing a really competitive squad to this year’s Giro. It’s true that we haven’t got a clear leader, a man that plays a favourite role for the overall podium, but we have talented riders in good form like Intxausti or Pardilla, who can be up-front if they do well here. I think that the time has come for them and that they are well prepared to contest the overall. Beñat’s victory in Asturias must be a boost for his moral and allows us to confirm he’s in great shape.
I’m also confident that Ventoso will bring on the same fitness level from last year and will contest the sprints again, as well as Visconti, who has shown that can do well in all terrains. We have expert riders, a guarantee of performance with Lastras or Bruseghin, who already know what it’s like to win a stage in the Giro, and will be the ones leading the team on the road. And I expect Herrada, Samoilau or Amador to be on the high level they have kept during this season, because they are riders than can bring us a good result in a good day and also win a stage, which is the initial objective for us. We notched up two last year, and even though it’s going to be hard, we’ll try to repeat that.
For my first time in many years as a manager, I have had so many doubts about the line-up, because the ten riders we had on our plans were all in very good form. At the end we had to take Nairo Quintana out because, after all, he was the one having the best alternatives in his season schedule, as he will now be able to ride Madrid, Picardie and Dauphiné, a race that he likes so much. He’s a very young lad that, despite having much confidence from the team board, could risk suffering too much at the end of the Giro, because he has never raced a three-week stagerace and the mountains in this Giro are at the end of the route.
We’re coming here in really strong moral, and after 12 victories that give us calmness and make us reach this point in good spirits. We came to May last year in a very similar situation and the race went really well, so we hope to stay the same this season. Regarding the route, its crucial point is that 90% of the hardness is focused on the last two weekends. You can lose the Giro in any stage, but to win it, you have to stay strong in both weekends. If you need something to win, it is being a great climber.”