Arrieta to Movistar as directeur sportif

José Luis Arrieta will join Movistar as a directeur sportif for the coming season, after an 18-year career as a pro rider. The team also announced the signings of three riders, Javier Iriarte, Enrique Sanz and Fran Perez.

Arrieta, 39, turned professional in 1993 with Banesto. He remained with the team until joining Ag2r in 2006. His last race was the Vuelta a España, which he had to abandon on stage 15 due to knee problems. He won a stage at the Vuelta in 2006.

Iriarte, 23, turned pro with Burgos Monumental in 2008, but last rode in the Elite 2 ranks in 2009. Sanz, 21, is also an Elite 2 rider who this year had four victories, including stages in the Tours of Toledo, Aretxabaleta, and Bermeo.

The two young riders will be joined by veteran Perez. The 35-year-old has been with the team directed by Eusebio Unzue since 2005. He won two stages of the Tour de Romandie in 2003 and the Clasica de Almeria in 2006. Perez served an 18-month suspension for EPO use from October 2003 to April 2005.

Movistar was most recently known under the name Caisse d'Epargne. The French bank is ending its sponsorship this year, and Movistar, the brand name for Telefonica's cellphone network in Spain and other Latin American countries, took over the sponsorship.

The squad has nevertheless lost its two biggest stars for next year. Alejandro Valverde is currently serving a doping-related suspension until the end of December 2011, and Luis Leon Sanchez is leaving the team after four years and will ride for Rabobank next season.

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