Races in Italy, Lithuania and Belarus will have Movistar Team representation as Blues try to repeat Rojas’s success in the 2011 RR title in Spain with a strong lineup
The last competitive spot before the Tour de France, to whom the Blues will travel on next Wednesday, will be the carousel of National Road Race and Time Trial championships in the week prior to the Grande Boucle. The huge streak by Movistar Team -already 20 victories this year- will be at stake as they try to cope with protagonism from last year’s performances, with José Joaquín Rojas claiming the rojigualda stripes in Castellón.
With Rui Costa and Alejandro Valverde ruled out for both races after their tremendous efforts in the Tour de Suisse and the Tour immediately after the National Championships, the telephone squad will line up 19 riders in chase for their respective jerseys. Towards East Europe, Branislau Samoilau will contest the Belarusian titles in Grodno, as well in the road race (Sunday, 200km) as in the time trial (Friday, 40km), just like Ignatas Konovalovas at the Lithuanian Champs in Siauliai (ITT: Friday, 16h, 35km; RR: Sunday, 13h, 169km). In turn, three-time Italian road champion Giovanni Visconti will get back into racing after physical problems in the Giro during the Tricolore road race in Borgo Valsugana (Saturday, 10h, 254km).
The biggest group from Eusebio Unzué’s squad will head into the Spanish Championships held in the province of Salamanca. At Béjar, on Friday (11h, 42km), Iván Gutiérrez, Jonathan Castroviejo, Juanjo Cobo and Jesús Herrada will contest the medals in the individual time trial, while Sunday will hold the road race in the capital city (12.30h, 198km), with the reigning champion Rojas accompanied by Arroyo, Plaza, Cobo, Erviti, Gutiérrez, José y Jesús Herrada, Iriarte, Sanz, Ventoso, Moreno, López y Pardilla.