Movistar eye Grand Tour glory in 2013

Spanish team Movistar set their sights on Grand Tour glory in 2013 under the leadership of resurgent climber Alejandro Valverde as they unveiled their new team line-up Friday.

Movistar Cycling Team riders pose for a group picture during the Movistar Team presentation in Madrid on January 11, 2013. Spanish team Movistar set their sights on Grand Tour glory in 2013 under the leadership of resurgent climber Alejandro Valverde as they unveiled their new team line-up Friday.

"With a leader like Alejandro we can only think about podium finishes in the Grand Tours and that is what we are betting on," said the team's manager Eusebio Unzue.

Valverde, who won the Tour of Spain in 2009 and came second in 2012 after returning from a two-year ban for doping, said the team would go all out in the Tour de France, in which he won the last mountain stage in 2012.

"We are going to give everything in that" in 2013, he said at Friday's presentation. "Then there is the Vuelta and the World Championship, which is very hard, but we will see whether any of these aims turns out well and we can achieve something."

To help Valverde and fellow team stalwarts such as Pablo Lastras, Juan Jose Cobo and Jose Joaquin Rojas do so, the team presented five new riders including Eros Capecchi, a 26-year-old Italian who has ridden five times in the Giro d'Italia.

Other stars retained in the team are Andrey Amador, 26, who won a stage in the Giro last year and Portuguese rider Rui Costa who finished 18th overall in the Tour de France -- ahead of Valverde in 20th.

Polish mountain veteran Sylvester Szmyd, 34, joined from team Italian Liquigas and Argiro Ospina, 21, from Colombia, joined his countryman Nairo Quintana, Movistar's surprise discovery last year.

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Writer: AFP
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