Nairo Quintana believes Primoz Roglic is the primary candidate to triumph at the Vuelta a Espana, which starts on Saturday.
Movistar’s Nairo Quintana believes Jumbo-Visma rider Primoz Roglic is the favourite to claim the Vuelta a Espana crown.
A number of big names, including Geraint Thomas, Tour de France winner Egan Bernal and 2018 Vuelta champion Simon Yates, have opted to skip the event, with the upcoming World Championships seemingly taking precedent, while Chris Froome is still recovering from the injuries which kept him out of the Tour de France.
Quintana – riding for home team Movistar – has also been instilled as a favourite, alongside team-mate Alejandro Valverde and Jumbo-Visma’s Roglic.
And Quintana sees Roglic as the rider who will offer the biggest threat to Movistar, who will be without the injured Richard Carapaz.
— Movistar Team (@Movistar_Team) August 22, 2019
“I think [Primoz] Roglic is the big favourite,” 2016 Vuelta champion Quintana told reporters ahead of the first stage in Alicante.
“[Jumbo-Vista] will be at the top of the table from the beginning after the team time trial and he’ll be our biggest rival there.”
Roglic, though, insisted he has not let the tag of being the favourite have an impact upon his preparations.
“I know that many consider me the favourite,” Roglic, who is making his maiden Vuelta appearance, told Marca.
“I really don’t know if I am, but I come well prepared. I do not look at rivals. I only think of myself and I have a great team, I count on that.”