Quintana insists that Valverde is Movistar’s Vuelta a Espana leader

The confusion surrounding Movistar‘s leadership hierarchy in the Vuelta a España appears to have been laid to rest after Nairo Quintana told Spanish media that teammate Alejandro Valverde is heading the squad’s bid to win the race for a second time in four years.

Both Quintana and Valverde have triumphed in the Vuelta in the past, the Colombian in 2016, two years after taking the Giro d’Italia, and Valverde back in 2009.

Initially it appeared that Quintana would be Movistar’s main GC challenger after Valverde told the AS newspaper last Monday that “Nairo is more leader than I am,” and Quintana then won stage 2 of the race into Calpe from a six-rider breakaway.


However, in the same interview Valverde did not rule himself out of the GC battle, and said that he was taking things on the day-by-day.

And Quintana, whilst clearly with options for the overall victory – something he discussed in his winner’s press conference on Sunday – has now said that team manager Eusebio Unzué has made it clear that Valverde is the leader.

“We had a meeting and Eusebio said that. Alejandro is going very well, and we are going to support him,” Quintana said after stage six.

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