Jesús Herrada, Ion Izagirre looking forward to exploit chances at reborn Spanish stagerace; Lobato seeks for maiden season win in Asia, with four sprint finishes on the cards
The 67th edition of the Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana -back into the Spanish calendar after seven years away- and the third Dubai Tour will have the Movistar Team back into racing from Wednesday, the Blues very much focused on the Iberian Peninsula during the second month of their season.
In Spain, José Luis Jaimerena and José Luis Laguía are set to direct an eight-man team which will have Jesús Herrada and Ion Izagirre as main GC contenders over a demanding route, including an opening, 17km ITT in Oropesa del Mar and two mountain finishes in Fredes (Thursday 4th) and Xorret de Catí (Saturday 6th), the latter just 24 hours away from the end in Valencia. Dayer Quintana, Jorge Arcas, Javi Moreno, Fran Ventoso, José Herrada and Imanol Erviti complete the Blues' lineup.
At the same time, and until Saturday 6th, a second team unit coordinated by Chente García Acosta will take part of the Dubai Tour, with no time trials scheduled and bonus seconds set to be decisive into a flat race, whose only main climb will be Hatta's finish on Friday 5th. Juanjo Lobato will be the top reference for the squad, which also includes Giovanni Visconti, Nelson Oliveira, Alex Dowsett, Marc Soler, Jasha Sütterlin, Gorka Izagirre and Jonathan Castroviejo. The Basque will debut in 2016 after being hit by a car while training on December 30th.