Tour de France 2017: Alex Dowsett misses out as Movistar confirm squad to support Nairo Quintana
Former British time trial champion one of five cut from longlist as Spanish team favour climbers
Alex Dowsett will not be at the 2017 Tour de France, after Movistar confirmed their nine-man line-up for the race, which starts in Dusseldorf on Saturday (July 1).
Dowsett was one of 12 riders on Movistar’s longlist, competing for the seven places on offer alongside Alejandro Valverde and Nairo Quintana.
But the former British time trial champion will not be joining the nine Brits already confirmed for the race, with Quintana set to be supported by a strong climbing unit for the Tour.
Valverde, Carlos Betancur, Andrey Amador and Spanish champion Jesus Herrada will all support Quintana’s ambitions of following up his Giro d’Italia second place with a first Tour de France win.
There is no place for Daniel Moreno, however, with Spanish time trial champion Jonathan Castroviejo, long-serving domestique Imanol Erviti, Germany's Jasha Sutterlin and multiple Grand Tour stage winner Daniele Bennati completing the line-up.
Dowsett, Moreno, Ruben Fernandez, Nelson Oliveira and Jose Joaquin Rojas will therefore play no part in the race.
It means Dowsett, who was runner-up in last week’s British time trial championships, before animating the breakaway in the road race, has still only ridden two Grand Tours in his career: the 2013 Giro d’Italia, where he won a time trial stage, and the 2015 Tour.
He had hoped to ride this year’s Giro d’Italia, but was omitted from Movistar’s line-up as the Spanish team again packed their line-up with climbing domestiques, only for Quintana to lose the maglia rosa in the final day’s time trial.
He also missed last year’s race after requiring surgery, at a time when he insists he was otherwise at peak fitness.
The Essex rider is now expected to attempt to reclaim the UCI Hour Record later this year, having held it for a month before Sir Bradley Wiggins set the current benchmark in 2015.
Of the riders selected to support Quintana for the Tour, Valverde has pledged himself solely to the service of the Colombian, rather than target the GC himself.
Amador, who finished 18th at the Giro d’Italia as he supported Quintana’s GC bid, will also be a key figure, having regularly got himself in breakaways at the Corsa Rosa before dropping back to support his team leader at the business end of the stages.
Erviti will ride his eighth consecutive Tour de France, while at the other end of the scale the 2017 edition will mark Betancur and Sutterlin’s debuts.
Movistar for the 2017 Tour de France
Nairo Quintana (COL)
Alejandro Valverde (ESP)
Carlos Betancur (COL)
Andrey Amador (CRC)
Jesus Herrada (ESP)
Imanol Erviti (ESP)
Jonathan Castroviejo (ESP)
Daniele Bennati (ITA)
Jasha Sutterlin (GER)