Tour de France: Alejandro Valverde says Nairo Quintana will attack
By Matt Westby
Last Updated: 17/07/16 9:58pm
Alejandro Valverde insists Nairo Quintana is “very strong” and will “definitely” go on the attack in the Alps in the final week of the Tour de France.
Quintana remains 2min 59sec adrift of race leader Chris Froome in fourth place overall after once again failing to put the Briton under pressure on a mountainous 15th stage in the Jura Mountains.
He now only has four back-to-back days in the Alps from stages 17-20 to overhaul his deficit, but Valverde has confidence in his Movistar team-mate.
The Spaniard, who is fifth overall, said: "We're going to try to do our best in the coming week. We're definitely going to try something. Nairo is very strong coming into this next week.
"I think people are expecting more fire and fight from us. We will fight in the coming stages."
Froome's Team Sky team-mates had to fend off just two short-lived attacks on stage 15 and the favourites consequently rolled across the finish line together.
Valverde admitted the fearsome pace Team Sky set up the day's six climbs had made it almost impossible to break away.
He added: "Team Sky were very strong again and they really made it hard for us. It was a very difficult stage and difficult for us to do anything with the pace."
The Tour continues on Monday with a 209km 16th stage from Moirans-en-Montagne to Berne. Find out more about the route in our race guide and follow the action with our live blog from 1pm BST.
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