The 2022 road cycling season steps up a level this week as teams head to the Balearic Island in the Mediterranean to take part in the five-day Challenge Mallorca.
Spanish team Movistar have confirmed their list of 13 riders that will line up across the five individual races, which start on Wednesday.
Valverde, who turns 42 in April, has taken five wins at the Challenge Mallorca through the years, dating back to a win at the Trofeo Soller in 2004.
This year’s series consists of the hilly Trofeo Calvia, Trofeo Serra de Tramuntana, and Trofeo Pollença on Wednesday, Friday and Saturday, with the sprinter-friendly Trofeo Alcudia and Trofeo Playa de Palma coming on Thursday and Sunday.
As well as team leaders Valverde and Mas, new signings Iván Sosa, Will Barta and Oier Lazkano will turn out for the team for the first time at the races.
The strong team continues with Matteo Jorgenson, Einer Rubio, Iván García Cortina, Gregor Mühlberger also lining up, while Lluis Mas, Juri Hollmann and Gonzalo Serrano round out the selection.
Movistar will announce final seven-man rosters for each of the 1.1 races on a daily basis, with team leadership likely to be split between more climber-heavy squads featuring Mas and Sosa for the harder races and García Cortina likely to lead at the flatter races, while the versatile Valverde is suited to all five.
The team is one of 10 WorldTour squads set to take part in the Challenge Mallorca alongside UAE Team Emirates, Bora-Hansgrohe, AG2R Citroën, Israel-Premier Tech, Lotto Soudal, BikeExchange-Jayco, Trek-Segafredo, Cofidis, and Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert.
Other major names racing throughout the week include Pascal Ackermann, Brandon McNulty (UAE Team Emirates), Emanuel Buchmann, Max Schachmann (Bora-Hansgrohe), Alexander Kristoff (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert), Giacomo Nizzolo (Israel-Premier Tech), Michael Matthews (BikeExchange-Jayco), and Philippe Gilbert (Lotto Soudal).
Cyclingnews will have race reports, news and interviews from the Challenge Mallorca.