Alejandro Valverde’s decision not to race opens the door for the defending champion to repeat his heroics of 12 months ago.
Intxausti has been largely quiet this year, as Movistar comprehensively defended their world number one status, but third place at the Tour of Poland was a reminder of just what he can achieve.
The 28-year-old was in untouchable form on Miaofeng Mountain last year, with then team-mate Rui Costa, in the rainbow jersey, playing the perfect team-mate’s role for him.
And Intxausti will certainly not be short of high quality support again this year – with Jesus Herrada, Giovanni Visconti and Dayer Quintana all confirmed for Movistar.
Since Poland Intxausti has done little of note in his four one-day races, not finishing at Il Lombardia on Sunday.
Largely relegated to a support role in 2014, this is his chance to issue another reminder of hi GC ability ahead of the off-season.