John Gadret will make a new start at Movistar in 2014, joining the Spanish squad after eight seasons with Ag2r-La Mondiale. The 34-year-old Frenchman finished third at the Giro d’Italia in 2011, but was left without a team at the end of this season after Ag2r opted not to renew his contract.
In late September, it was announced that Gadret had signed for Movistar, and he told L'Equipe on Friday that he has penned a two-year agreement with the team. While he looks ahead to life on his new team, however, Gadret admitted that he was disappointed by the way his time at Ag2r ended.
“I can understand that their team managers have choices to make but it’s distressing that we didn’t talk about it between us,” Gadret told L’Équipe of Vincent Lavenu’s decision not to keep him on the team.
After enjoying a great degree of freedom at Ag2r, Gadret now will take on the role of domestique deluxe and ride in the service of Nairo Quintana and Alejandro Valverde at Movistar.
“I’m going to be a back as a support rider, but knowing that I’m going to ride for two leaders capable of winning grand tours is incredible,” Gadret said. “And I’ll have carte blanche on summit finishes in certain weeklong stage races.”
Considering the bleak outlook of the transfer market at the end of a season that saw Vacansoleil-DCM, Euskaltel-Euskadi and Sojasun cease operations, Gadret is grateful simply to have a contract for 2014, considering the amount of riders currently out of work.
“When you see that over 100 riders are going to be cast aside, I’m telling myself that I’m incredibly lucky to be able to get a new contract at my age, and what’s more, with the best team in the world,” said Gadret, who had also reportedly had some contact Saxo-Tinkoff, FDJ and IAM Cycling.
Gadret will again ride a number of cyclo-cross races over the winter as part of his preparation for 2014. “I want to start the year in top condition, to show they were right to place their confidence in me,” he said.