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Movistar: this year's objective is to win a Grand Tour

By:
Alasdair Fotheringham
Published:
February 1, 09:31,
Updated:
February 1, 08:30
Edition:
First Edition Cycling News, Saturday, February 1, 2014
The 2014 Movistar squad is presented at the team launch in Madrid

The 2014 Movistar squad is presented at the team launch in Madrid

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Spanish team launched today in Madrid

Movistar's team launch in Madrid on Friday saw Spain's only remaining WorldTour squad confirm that in 2014 they will be looking for a Grand Tour victory, arguably the only result which was lacking in their impressively strong 2013 season.

The Spanish team completed last year as the best-ranked squad in the UCI WorldTour classification, leapfrogging ahead of Team Sky after a victory in the Tour of Beijing. They scored no less than 32 wins, 15 of them WorldTour victories, their best total in three years' sponsorship by the telecommunications company.

But after Nairo Quintana finishing second at the Tour de France in 2013, and Alejandro Valverde taking his umpteenth podium at the Vuelta, as well as four stage wins in the Giro going to the Spanish squad, Movistar say they are going into the 2014 season with the stated aim of taking an elusive Grand Tour win.

The team has the economic stability - Movistar announced last autumn they are sponsoring the squad until 2016 - not to feel under too much pressure. But given their previous victory in one of the three-week stage races was in the Vuelta in 2009 with Valverde, a Grand Tour win is long overdue.

"Looking at our palmares we [the Movistar management] are the first to admit that we have to take that step towards victory," said Movistar team manager Eusebio Unzue on Friday. "But we know it's the hardest step to take and only one person manages to do it.

"Both Nairo and Alejandro" - the Colombian in the Giro, the Spaniard in the Tour and both in the Vuelta - "are capable of doing that, and by their side they have a team in which they can trust 100 percent.

"After so much success, it's clear we have to go all out for the overall win in one of the three Grand Tours," concluded Unzue.

New signings for 2014 include four former Euskaltel-Euskadi riders - sprinter Juanjo Lobato, brothers Ion and Gorka Izaguirre and climber Igor Anton - as well as former Giro leader and 2013 Bayern Rundfahrt winner Adriano Malori, Germany's Jasha Sutterlin, Giro podium finisher John Gadret of France and Quintana's little brother Dayer. The biggest loss from the 2013 Movistar squad is undoubtedly Rui Costa, reigning World Champion, to Lampre-Merida.

Fernando Cintra 6 months ago
In other words: "this year we hope Quintana will win the Giro"
WildspokeJoe 6 months ago
or the Vuelta
vassosa 6 months ago
Same page: "this year, we made our best rider avoid Froome"
Manuel Schoel 6 months ago
OPQS sends Uran to the Giro as well, as does BMC with Evans. So Movistar are not the only ones avoiding him. Nibali and Contador are real contenders in this years Tour against Froome but other than that, it's pretty thin. In my opinion the Giro will this years GT to watch.
Cance > TheRest 6 months ago
Dunno if the Giro will be the race to watch. If Quintana decides to drop everyone on the first climb and eventually wins with +5mins, I think the Vuelta will be the most exciting. However the competition is very big this year in the Giro, but it might leave us with a very tactical Giro. I hope, bu heart, that Evans wins the Giro, although podium is perhaps more reasonable.
vassosa 6 months ago
I agree with you. More teams are avoidinf Froome.
kevinzamora 6 months ago
Nah, La Vuelta will be the GT to watch for the third year in a row: Most (if not all) of the serious contenders for the Giro confirmed or are likely to go for a Giro-Vuelta, sum that to the confirmed Nibali, AContador and Valverde that are going for the Tour-Vuelta = By far the best GC field of this year's three GTs!
WilGirod'Italia 6 months ago
Difficult to say which GT will be the most competitive; really depends in which condition the big names will be at the depart of the GTs. For instance, with the recent changes of the calendar competing in the Vuelta has become a big plus for any rider with serious ambition to win the Worlds, but this does not necessarily mean that all of them will compete in the Vuelta to win it, but rather to gain some form for the Worlds. Definitely Vuelta and Giro have a more entertaining profile and parcours variation compared to the Tour
TheBean 6 months ago
Vassosa, every team does their best to put their riders in a position to win. That's why Sky chooses to have Froome avoid Cancellara, Boonen, and the rest in the Ardennes.
WilGirod'Italia 6 months ago
If your team has two serious contenders for GT victory, you should use them in different races to maximise the chance of victory - not so difficult to understand the rationale. I wouldn't underestimate Valverde for this year's TdF
stanislas 6 months ago
I hope that quintana won't be good this season. For me, his personality and career seem to be strange. But I wish Valverde will be on the podium of TDF.
TANK91 6 months ago
he is 22 colombian and is a climber how starange is he to you? Isit cuz he dont look likehe is breathing climbing? Well he is as pure and gracefull as any. Im a huge Froome fan but Quintana i love too.
BackSeatRider 6 months ago
What is strange about Quintana? He has been a talented young rider who has improved year after year. At the moment he is arguably the top climber in the peloton. Colombia has a long history of producing climbers and he is part of a new generations of Colombian riders hitting the World Tour ranks. What's wrong with his personality? Is it that he isn't European? He is relatively quiet and humble South American rider. I am yet hear any outrageous quotes come from him and haven't heard of anyone in the peloton who has a problem with him.
stanislas 6 months ago
When he is climbing, he looks relaxed like on a walk, he is completely fresh and untired. It's strange when other riders look exhausted and he let them overtake him without any emotions (like with Froome on Mont Ventoux). I don't think he is on doping, he has a natural advantage because he was born very high, but I think he doesn't make any effort to win when he rides with this "stone face". That's why I don't like him.
ttta asa 6 months ago
you prefer Voeckler i bet. Quintana has big mental strenght for his age
elamigo 6 months ago
If you've ever been on a bike for a 10-15km climb, you know he is tired and exhausted at the top!! It is the mental strength, and his training that make him special. If he trains on 20+km climbs on the Andes mountains...going from
stanislas 6 months ago
I prefer Voeckler because when I watch cycling, I want to see fighters, not robots.
TheBean 6 months ago
Voekler is pack fodder for the majority of the big tours, then blasts away in search of a stage here-and-there. His theatrics may appeal to some fans, but he is anything but a "fighter". He's an opportunist who creates a spectacle once in a while. Meanwhile, Quintana races intelligently and fights from stage 1 through 20. QA has class beyond his years and a riding style that is pure grace.
vassosa 6 months ago
Indurain was never your hero, I suppose. That was a robot. Quintana is just a focused rider.
Cance > TheRest 6 months ago
@TheBean I suppose you never watched TdF 2011 then? Voeckler clearly wasn't fighting then lol...
essaye 6 months ago
I remember one stage at the TdF last year where he nearly collapsed after one mountain-top finish. He was on oxygen or something. I think it's perfectly acceptable to remain stone-faced. Doesn't it give you the mental advantage, not showing your opponent how much you really are suffering??
Sean Wicker 6 months ago
I dont understand how you could say that after he collapsed after the Mont Ventoux battle with Froome! He just rides with a great efficient climbing style, just because someone is stone faced means nothing! And how could you possibly know his personality.....ignorant comment!
stanislas 6 months ago
I didn't say that he is a bad guy, but that he is strange. For me, a mysterious Indian who don't show any emotions is not a casual type of cyclist. And I don't have to like all riders in the peloton, I can have my own opinion. I prefere those who don't have a natural EPO, but have to train very hard because they are not so talented. I just think that Quintana is boring.
Cance > TheRest 6 months ago
Fair enough, but why exactly is he strange? Is it because he's columbian and not a european? To me, it's actually just more appealing that Quintana comes from somewhere else than Spain and the usual countries. It's nice to see a new wave of columbian riders, who can challenge the european riders. As for Quintanas climbing style, I just think it's pure elegance. Not since Gibo (Simoni), have I seen such an elegant climber. It actually makes it a joy to watch, even if it doesn't look like he's fighting. That said, I still prefer watching Cadel Evans winning the Giro.
stanislas 6 months ago
It's strange that everyone can criticise Contador, for example, and say that he is on doping, but when I say something against a Colombian everyone is attacking me.
Strydz 6 months ago
Well Contador has actually served a doping ban so to accuse him of doping makes sense
WilGirod'Italia 6 months ago
Stanislas, your comments are very strange to me
stanislas 6 months ago
I don't understand something. People often criticise European riders in worse words than I did with Quintana, and everything is fine. Why everyone should like Nairo? What's strange to you? I just have my own preferences. I explained why I'm not his fan. But for me, it's not a problem that you like him.
TANK91 6 months ago
People call Sky 1 dimensional yet Mov are agubly even worst. At least Sky win GT's and can pllace in classics, cobbles included. Sky had a better Ardennes aswell
LouWBZ 6 months ago
Valverde was 2nd at Amstel, 3rd at Liege, 7th at Fleche, and 2nd at Lombardia Sky's best was Henao: 6th, 16th, 2nd and Cataldo was 22nd at Lombardia. How's that better?
Strydz 6 months ago
They also failed on the cobbles aswell
WilGirod'Italia 6 months ago
And 1st and 3rd in the Worlds (vs most of Sky contingent happy to retire from the race before it hit the Florence circuit), even if it's not a trade team race. So far in their history Sky has been the quintessence of the one dimensional team; Cav had to leave for that reason, making the right move; and more and more talented riders will think about staying there for too long to burn their career (my impression Boasson-Hagen is a rider who could have reached much better personal results in another team). I accept that cycling is a team sport, and there is a lot of merit in building a team spirit (which Sky has done, apart from the Froome-Wiggins episode) and a sense of sacrifice by the team's domestiques, but in Sky's case it has really reached an extreme
Mark Schwitau 6 months ago
It's actually ok to like several different riders from various teams and simply enjoy the race. Nobody has to be a villain.
Raoul Duke 6 months ago
very well said
Mirco Bertolani 6 months ago
anyway i don't believe that Quintana is just 23!!
Strydz 6 months ago
Oldest looking 23 year old I have ever seen ;)