It's not like Quickstep is a GC team, so they really don't have the riders to support a GC rider. He started with Quickstep in 2017 (first year at the World Tour level) and then got that Vuelta podium the following year. I don't think Movistar is expecting a podium at the Tour from him this season. I think they are hoping to see leadership abilities and improvement. I do think he's currently the best young Spanish GC rider and that is meaningful to Movistar. You're right about marketing story line for a Spanish team and Spanish sponsor. I suspect if Mas shows what they are hoping for, he could be marketed as the heir apparent to Valverde.Yeah. I definitely believe Mas and Soler are GT and TdF podium material. I like the direction Movistar are taking -- a Spanish team with the country's two best young(ish) grand tour riders. It's a good marketing story line, too, which I wouldn't discount.
Maybe no podium this tour for Mas as there are too many past winners (and past GT winners) in the lineup, but if he hangs around the top 5, and a few breaks go his way, why not? You could say that for about 15 riders this year it seems.
I need to brush up on Mas a bit. He always flew a bit under the radar for me. Probably because i'm not used to seeing a QS jersey mixing it up on the mountain stages!