Movistar’s race to lose
VUELTA ASTURIAS JULIO ALVAREZ MENDO 30 Apr-2 May | Spain | 2.1
Movistar have won four of the last five editions of the Vuelta a Asturias, which should come as no surprise seeing as they are usually the only WorldTour team at the Spanish stage race. In recent seasons, it was where Richard Carapaz first made his mark, before going on to prove himself in grand tours. In 2016, the one year they didn’t win it, the race was won by Hugh Carthy, then at Caja Rural. The Vuelta actually has a longer history than its bigger brother, the Vuelta a España, being raced 10 years before the first edition of the Spanish grand tour in 1925. Since 1968, it has been held annually, and since 2011 it has also incorporated the Subida al Naranco, a former one-day race that finished up the Alto del Naranco.
The region, in between Galicia and Cantabria, is mountainous, so is always good for explosive racing, and the landscape is picturesque and green. This year, Arkéa–Samsic will be riding, so Nairo Quintana will hope to win the race for a second time, unless Movistar have something to say about it.