Cobo was a last minute signing in 2011 for Movistar after his team, Geox-TMC, lost their sponsor despite his winning the Vuelta. He remained with Movistar for two years, but has failed to produce any more victories or strong rides, under-performing at a level similar to 2010, when he raced with the same squad for one season. He completed the Giro in 116th spot, but was not selected either for the Tour in 2013, where he had taken 30th in 2012, or for the Vuelta.
"Results make a rider more or less dispensable, and he's not been at the level he had in 2011, neither in 2010 nor in this last two year period," Unzue said on Friday. "Logically, therefore, his continuing in the team is very uncertain. That's all there is to it."
As for new riders in the team, with Euskaltel Euskadi disappearing, Movistar remain as the one WorldTour squad in Spain, and they have been signing or renewing riders at a hefty rate of knots this autumn even though the official confirmation from Movistar that the Spanish telecommunications company will continue their sponsorship is yet to arrive. "They will decide the time and place for that," Unzue said, who said there was space for perhaps a further five or six additional signings in the squad for 2014.