Cookson presents WorldTour team trophy to Movistar squad
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Thursday, December 19, 2013

Cookson presents WorldTour team trophy to Movistar squad

by VeloNation Press at 3:25 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
 
Valverde and Unzué accept awards from UCI president in Madrid

Alejandro Valverde Brian CooksonThe Movistar squad, which this season was best team in the UCI WorldTour, has had that achievement marked by UCI president Brian Cookson in Madrid. Its top-ranked rider Alejandro Valverde, who finished third in the individual ranking and did much to help his team take the overall, received a presentation from Cookson, as did the team’s general manager Eusebio Unzué.

The squad amassed 1610 points during the season, thanks to the combined totals of Valverde, Tour de France runner-up Nairo Quintana, world champion Rui Costa, Benat Inxausti and Javier Moreno.

Team Sky was second with 1561 points, while Katusha took up the third slot with 1340.

Unzué said that the top slot was both a reason to be proud of the team and also a reward for all those who are in the group. “Team classifications are sort of a therapy in such a particular sport as cycling, a team sport which nonetheless gives all major prizes to individuals.

“The trophy is just in light of the big efforts the guys made throughout the year, and this first place in the WorldTour rankings are a consequence of our consistency throughout the season. That's ever since the start of it in Australia on January and up to the final race in October, in China, our last chance to conquer the win and where we were fortunate enough to overtake Sky in the standings.”

Valverde collected 540 points in the individual rankings, just 47 behind Tour de France winner Chris Froome (Sky) and 67 behind the world number one Joaquim Rodríguez (Katusha).

The team said that the awards would do much in terms of motivating the riders for 2014. “It's a massive morale boost in view of the 2014 season, which the Blues will start in exactly one month with the Tour Down Under and the Tour de San Luis in Australia and Argentina.”

Quintana stunned with second place overall in what was his first-ever Tour de France, and the team will hope he can move things up a notch in 2014. He is as yet undecided about whether he will focus on the Tour de France or on the Giro d’Italia. He said this week that Unzué was likely the one who will make the call.

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