Dauphiné / Suisse / Route du Sud
Movistar Team start June schedule after historic success in Giro d’Italia; next challenges Dauphiné, Tour de Suisse and Roude su Sud, where Valverde will line up
Just seven days after Nairo Quintana’s triumph in the Giro d’Italia, the biggest success since Telefónica took over the squad’s title sponsorship, the Movistar Team will be back into racing on Sunday for the 66th edition of the Critérium du Dauphiné. The eight-day French event will focus its interest on both its first two days -with a 10km ITT in Lyon followed by a mountain-top finish in the Col du Béal, one stage later- and the last two ones, with plenty of big mountains. Chente García Acosta and José Luis Laguía will manage an eight-man roster formed by Igor Antón, Imanol Erviti, John Gadret, Iván Gutiérrez, Beñat Intxausti, Enrique Sanz, Sylwester Szmyd and Giovanni Visconti.
In turn, a week later, the 78th Tour de Suisse will start in Bellinzona on Saturday 14. The Helvetic stagerace will feature a demanding, individual time trial on its opening stage to later concentrate all major difficulties in the final weekend –another TT on Friday, followed by two uphill finishes on Saturday and Sunday-. Eros Capecchi, Alex Dowsett, Ion Izagirre, Pablo Lastras, Juanjo Lobato, Javi Moreno, Rubén Plaza and José Joaquín Rojas, with Jaimerena and Laguía as sports directors, will fly the Blue flag as a third block chases for success -clashing with Suisse (Friday 20 – Sunday 22), at the 38th Route du Sud, where Alejandro Valverde will lead the Movistar Team.
Despite the Spaniard’s schedule made public earlier in the season included the Dauphiné on his way to the Tour de France, good shape acquired in his three-week, altitude training camp in Sierra Nevada, combined with the chance of inspecting the final ITT and all three Pyrenean stages in the Grande Boucle, made Valverde change his calendar and lead the Blues in this 2.1 race. Iván Gutiérrez, Jesús Herrada, Adriano Malori, Jasha Sütterlin, Jonathan Castroviejo, Sylwester Szmyd and Giovanni Visconti will join Valverde, with José Luis Arrieta as DS.