Nairo Quintana on good form for Volta a Catalunya but says Valverde is likely better
19 March 2018 08:05
Nairo Quintana and Alejandro Valverde will start the Volta a Catalunya as co-leaders of the Movistar squad, but Quintana has recognised that Valverde's form could well prove to be the stronger at this point in the season. Quintana's comment is the first indication of how the Movistar hierarchy of leaders may play out in a race in which both Valverde and the Colombian have shone in the past. Although Quintana has raced less than Valverde and the Volta is his first European race of the season, both have won the week-long Catalan stage race, Quintana in 2016 and Valverde in 2017. As if that was not enough of a strong hand, Movistar also have up-and-coming local racer Marc Soler, third overall last year in the Volta a Catalunya and the recent winner of Paris-Nice with a spectacular long-range, last-stage attack, in their line-up.ADVERTISEMENT Soler told reporters on the eve of the race that his role in the Volta this year would be one of domestique deluxe, helping Valverde and Quintana to get into a winning position "and then one of them could finish it off." A partial answer as to which of the two leaders might be the stronger came from Quintana on Sunday evening, who said, "We're both in good condition, and we'll start as co-leaders with equal levels of responsibility. But I'm sure Alejandro is in better form than me, and if I have to help him, I will." Valverde was less forthright, saying "we're all in good form, and the race will decide what happens. We've got a great team, but the others aren't lacking in top names. Sky, for example, have a great line-up for this kind of Volta, with a lot of climbing in it.
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