Quintana, Valverde to lead Movistar at Spanish Vuelta

MADRID (AP) Nairo Quintana and Alejandro Valverde, the second- and third-place finishers at last month’s Tour de France, have been named co-leaders of Movistar’s nine-man team for the Spanish Vuelta.

The rest of Movistar’s squad is Andrey Amador, Rory Sutherland, Javi Moreno, Imanol Erviti, Fran Ventoso, Jose Joaquin Rojas and Giovanni Visconti.

Valverde won the Vuelta in 2009, while Quintana has won the Giro d’Italia and twice finished runner-up to Chris Froome in the Tour de France.

They, along with former Tour winner Vicenzo Nibali, will be considered the biggest rivals to Froome, the favorite to win the three-week race.

The Vuelta begins in the southern coastal town of Puerto Banus on Saturday.