Telephone squad -winners of the 2014 'Corsa Rosa' with Nairo Quintana- come to San Remo with young, versatile group hoping to extend their brilliant streak of wins (20) in the beginning of this season
Eusebio Unzué has chosen the nine-man squad the Movistar Team will bring to the start of the 2015 Giro d'Italia on Saturday. Andrey Amador (CRC), Igor Antón, Rubén Fernández, Jesús Herrada, Beñat Intxausti, Ion Izagirre, Juanjo Lobato (ESP), Dayer Quintana (COL) and Giovanni Visconti (ITA) are the riders selected to represent the telephone squad in the 98th edition of the first Grand Tour of the year, having conquered the final 'maglia rosa' with Nairo Quintana in 2014.
Unzué recognises it's been the hardest GT roster decision for the managing team in the last few years. “All 11 riders preselected have come to this part of the season in excellent form. Igor Antón's big progression during the last weeks, from País Vasco to his victory in Asturias, has been the key to this final selection – and having him into the Giro team.” The general manager of the Movistar Team explains the absences of Eros Capecchi and Javi Moreno: “Eros, who usually suffers from allergies in the spring, has chosen together with us to avoid the Giro this season and enter the Tour or Vuelta preselections, provided that he's a strong climber and does well with warm conditions. Javi also does better at the Vuelta, and with these races coming up for us during the Giro, he should be able to lead the team himself there."
An analysis on the final roster, one by one: “This Giro should be the confirmation of Beñat (Intxausti)'s abilities: it's a race he already knows, he's done really well there and finished in the overall top-10. As well Ion (Izagirre) as Jesús (Herrada) should also be able to build up on their big success to date, while Rubén (Fernández) and Dayer (Quintana) will ride their first GT with a more comfortable role – they only have to gain experience, see how their bodies react to the efforts and get used to the three weeks. Giovanni (Visconti) will have the task, together with Beñat, of leading the group – considering he's an Italian rider, an experienced one in this race and all his years in the peloton, he will do well and surely have good chances in some stages. Regarding Juanjo (Lobato), I hope this Giro confirms him as a top sprinter; I think he has many chances to succeed. Andrey (Amador) has got experience, good form and is a super 'joker' for any kind of stage. In general, not having to contest the overall classification from the start of the race will give us a chance to ride with freedom and make a classic out of every stage.”
Unzué also commented on the race route and favourites: “I really like the parcours; it's a very balanced one, with no climbs of 2,600, 2,700 meters above sea level like in previous editions, where you could get some stages even cancelled. There's something for every rider: a team time trial -always spectacular and interesting, though harder for us-, a big ITT, mountain-top finishes which will become decisive and lots of open days, surely spectacular, too. Names to follow? As well as (obviously) Alberto, Porte -should he be able to keep his form alive and stay regular throughout the race, he'll be the other main candidate-, Aru -the biggest alternative, young and still with room for improvement- and Rigoberto (Urán), a real veteran in this race, already two consecutive years on the podium and with enormous potential in the mountains and especially the TT."