Alex Dowsett to miss Tour de France as Movistar confirm nine-man squad

Boss Eusebio Unzue says Essex rider failed to fully recover from an infection

Alex Dowsett will miss the 2014 Tour de France after being unable to fully recover from an infection, Movistar have confirmed.

The Spanish team – who topped the world rankings in 2013 – are targeting a podium place at the Tour, with Alejandro Valverde leading a strong nine-man squad.

Alex Dowsett, pictured at Tirreno-Adriatico, will not ride the 2014 Tour de France (pic: Sirotti)

But Essex rider Dowsett, who had been due to race through his home county on stage three, will not be part of the squad – meaning there could be no Englishmen on the start line in Leeds on Saturday July 5 as things stand.

Movistar manager Eusebio Unzue said: “It’s so sad for us to leave Dowsett out of the team – despite his efforts, he couldn’t get to his best form due to breathing problems resulting from an infection he suffered.”

English riders Ian Stannard (Team Sky) and Stephen Cummings (BMC Racing) have already missed out on a place at the Tour for their respective teams through injury.

And with Ben Swift not being selected by Team Sky, Adam and Simon Yates not expected to ride for Orica-GreenEDGE and Scott Thwaites (Team NetApp-Endura) also missing the cut, it raises the possibility of there being no English-born riders on the start line in Leeds.

Instead, Movistar will be represented by seven Spaniards as they bid to earn their second Grand Tour success of the season after Nairo Quintana’s Giro d’Italia triumph.

Valverde will be backed by newly crowned Spanish road race champion Ion Izaguirre and compatriots Imanol Erviti, Jesus Herrada, Benat Intxausti, Ruben Plaza and Jose Joaquin Rojas.

Italian Giovanni Visconti and France’s John Gadret complete the nine-man squad, and Unzue hopes the balanced squad will be more than capable of delivering Valverde to the Paris podium.

Alejandro Valverde, winner at La Fleche Wallonne among many other races this season, leads Movistar’s charge for a podium place (pic: Sirotti)

He added: “The goal is fighting for a podium place in Paris with Alejandro, that’s clear. He’s coming into the race really strong, confident about his chances of achieving that objective, in a route I think suits him pretty well.

“He will have a balanced team by his side, with riders suited for all terrains and in perfect form.”

Discuss in the forum

Movistar team for the 2014 Tour de France

Alejandro Valverde (ESP)
Imanol Erviti (ESP)
John Gadret (FRA)
Jesus Herrada (ESP)
Benat Intxausti (ESP)
Ion Izaguirre (ESP)
Ruben Plaza (ESP)
Jose Joaquin Rojas (ESP)
Giovanni Visconti (ITA)

Newsletter Terms & Conditions

Please enter your email so we can keep you updated with news, features and the latest offers. If you are not interested you can unsubscribe at any time. We will never sell your data and you'll only get messages from us and our partners whose products and services we think you'll enjoy.

Read our full Privacy Policy as well as Terms & Conditions.