Cobo joins Valverde on Team Movistar shortlist for Tour de France
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Thursday, May 31, 2012

Cobo joins Valverde on Team Movistar shortlist for Tour de France

by Shane Stokes at 11:25 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Tour de France
Vuelta a Espana winner has been anonymous thus far this year

Team MovistarAlthough he’s been very quiet thus far this season, Juan Jose Cobo has been named as one of ten riders on the shortlist for nine places on the Movistar team for this year’s Tour de France.

The Spaniard has had a varied career, with highs such as his 2008 Tour de France stage win plus a stage victory in the following year’s Vuelta a Espana being followed by an extremely quiet 2010 season, where he failed to take any results of note. He bounced back last year with third in the Vuelta a Burgos and overall victory in the Vuelta.

This season, Cobo has been anonymous in terms of results. Apart from 26th in the prologue of the Vuelta a Madrid, his only top-50 placing has been 43rd on a stage of the Tour de Romandie. He finished 60th overall there, ten and a half minutes behind the winner Bradley Wiggins.

However Movistar has enough faith in him to include him in its ten-man preselection, of which all bar one will compete.

The group has been training in the Sierra Nevada mountains close to Granada. They were there for two weeks, training in the morning and afternoon, and will leave in accordance with their schedules. Some of the riders will dispute the Critérium du Dauphiné, starting Sunday, while others will line out in the Tour de Suisse from June 9th.

The shortlist includes Valverde and Cobo as potential team leaders, as well as 2011 stage winner Rui Costa, José Joaquín Rojas, David Arroyo, Rubén Plaza, Imanol Erviti, Iván Gutiérrez, Vladimir Karpets and Vasil Kiryienka.

Ignatas Konovalovas and David López have been identified as reserve riders.

The team had a solid performance in the Giro d’Italia, with Fran Ventoso and Andrey Amador both winning stages.

After returning from a long suspension, Valverde started his season off well with a stage win and second overall in the Santos Tour Down Under. He also won the Vuelta a Andalucia - Ruta del Sol, placed third overall in Paris-Nice and was second in the Klasika Primavera.

He targeted a strong ride in the Ardennes Classics but had a disappointing campaign; 22nd in the Amstel Gold Race was followed by 46th in Flèche Wallonne and then disqualification in Liège-Bastogne-Liège after he went off route.

Like Cobo, he will hope for better fortunes in the Tour.


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