Strade Bianche / Paris-Nice lineups
Strade Bianche (Saturday 7), with Valverde in, and Paris-Nice (8-15) both to make for interesting challenges for the telephone squad
Following a brief, 12-day stop after their impressive start to the season, the Movistar Team is back into racing with two blocks heading to France and Italy. An expedition led by Chente García Acosta will be at San Gimignano on Saturday to take the start in the 9th Strade Bianche Eroica, with its 45.1km of sterrato roads for a total 200, full of slopes till the very finish at Siena's Piazza del Campo. Third-place finisher in 2014, Alejandro Valverde, will be into the Blues' roster together with Andrey Amador, Giovanni Visconti, Jasha Sütterlin, Marc Soler, Pablo Lastras, Fran Ventoso and Enrique Sanz.
In turn, José Luis Arrieta and José Luis Laguía will be the telephone squad's sports directors in the 73rd Paris-Nice, the second event of the 2015 UCI WorldTour calendar. This year's route includes two time trials -a prologue in Maurepas (Sunday 8) and a traditional, 10km hill climb showdown towards the Col d'Eze (Sunday 14)-, a mountain-top finish in the Croix de Chaubouret (Thursday 12) and nervous finishes including some wind danger in days one to three. Spanish road race champion Ion Izagirre and Vuelta a Andalucía GC podium finisher Beñat Intxausti feature into an eight-man group also including Imanol Erviti, Rubén Fernández, Dayer Quintana, Eros Capecchi, Gorka Izagirre and José Joaquín Rojas, 4th in 2014.