Team Movistar is deploying all its artillery for the 2021 Tour de France.
The Spanish team will have a strong overall presence on this year’s Tour, led by new signing Miguel Ángel López and Enric Mas, both in the top 10 in the 2020 race.
Alejandro Valverde and Marc Soler will sit half a wheel behind the top pair and ensure that the Movistar team is never short of options – or out of the race for the ‘best team’ standings.
Imanol Erviti, Iván García Cortina, Jorge Arcas and Carlos Verona complete the eight Movistar for the Tour, starting on Saturday.
🚴♂️🇫🇷 Meet the Movistar team’s programming for the #TDF2021 – our 39th participation in the race → https://t.co/mEnj6IX0sj
– Movistar Team (@Movistar_Team) June 21, 2021
López is perhaps one of the best-placed riders to challenge the Slovenia-Ineos Grenadiers lockdown on this year’s Tour.
The Colombian placed sixth riding with Astana-Premier Tech in last year’s race and has gained momentum throughout the season so far, winning a stage and the overall standings of the Vuelta a Andalucia and winning the Mont Ventoux Dénivele Challenge earlier this month.
The way Movistar’s new Colombian captain dovetails with his local prospect Mas could provide a scenario to savor on this year’s Tour.
Mas, 26, finished a notch higher than López in last year’s Tour, but lacks the experience of his Colombian teammate, who finished third at the Giro d’Italia and Vuelta a España.
Soler will provide solid support in the mountains for what will be his fourth Tour start, just two months after his fall out of the Giro. García Cortina will be an option for the hilly transition stages of the race after showing promise with an offensive run at the Tour de Suisse.
Valverde will start his 13th Tour this year as he shows no signs of slowing down in his 41st year. Its experienced leader will be needed to control the ambitious young talents of the team.
The Movistar team may not win the Tour de France, but they seem ready to make their presence felt.
Mathieu Van der Poel and Tim Merlier lead Alpecin-Fenix’s ambitions
Mathieu van der Poel will lead Alpecin-Fenix to his first Tour de France this summer as part of a team focused on stage hunting.
Van der Poel is making his highly anticipated Tour debut and is one of the big favorites for victory in the first installment of stages through Brittany and an early stint in the legendary yellow jersey. He’s unlikely to make it all the way to Paris, but there will be a lot of eyes and expectations on him as long as he’s in the race.
Read also : Mathieu van der Poel: A contender for the yellow and green jersey at the Tour de France?
The pressure is not all on van der Poel in France and the team selected Tim Merlier for his second grand tour of the year. The former Belgian champion was one of the most consistent sprinters in 2021 and won a Giro d’Italia stage in May before retiring on the first day of rest.
Merlier missed the mark on the recent Baloise Belgium Tour, but he remains one of the main contenders for the many sprint opportunities to come at the Tour de France. Kristian Sbaragli, Jonas Rickaert and Jasper Philipsen, who is another potential sprint contender, line up to support him.
Silvan Dillier, Petr Vakoč and Xandro Meurisse round out the roster and give the team more options in breakaways and power in the engine room on the flattest days.
After scoring their first Grand Tour stage with Merlier at the Giro d’Italia, the team will be keen to capitalize on this and get even more out of the Tour de France.
– Alpecin-Fenix cycling team (@AlpecinFenix) June 21, 2021