Movistar squad launched in Madrid: 2014 target is at least one Grand Tour victory
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Friday, January 31, 2014

Movistar squad launched in Madrid: 2014 target is at least one Grand Tour victory

by VeloNation Press at 9:33 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
 
Quintana and Valverde to spearhead 27-rider team

Movistar teamHaving gone close in 2013, the Movistar team has laid out a clear aim for this season: finally topping the general classification in a three week race.

The Spanish WorldTour team was officially launched today at chief sponsor Telefónica's headquarters in Madrid. There, general manager Eusebio Unzué made clear that the team was setting higher targets in the months ahead.

“After such great success, it's obvious that our goal must be trying to win one of the three Grand Tours,” he said today.

”Last year we already got to the final podium of both the Tour, with Quintana, and the Vuelta, where Valverde has finished second and third in the last two editions. With those antecedents in mind, we're the first ones to exige bigger results from ourselves, taking that leap which is the hardest for any team, only achieved by one at a time.”

Quintana had a stunning debut in the Tour de France, the best in many years, when he finished second overall in his first attempt at the race. He’s already shown strong form this year, winning the Tour de San Luis this month, but he and the team confirmed this week that he would miss the Tour in 2014.

Instead, he will concentrate on the Giro d’Italia, which he wants to win, and will later do the Vuelta a España.

As for Valverde, the 33 year old rider insists that it is not too late for him to hold onto dreams of winning cycling’s biggest event. While his best placing was fifth in 2007, he points to his Vuelta results plus Cadel Evans’ winning of the race his mid thirties as reasons why he can yet hope.

In addition to that, he was sitting second overall last year until stage thirteen, when he lost almost ten minutes due to a mechanical issue and a subsequent split in the peloton. He dropped to sixteenth as a result, became a helper for Quintana for the remainder of the race, and finished eighth in Paris.

He told AS earlier this month that there was still time for him to take cycling’s biggest event. “I feel good, both physically and psychologically,” he said. “In 2012 I was second in the Vuelta and in 2013, third. I have not finished with the bike, I have three or four good seasons left. I am motivated, this is the key to training and to look for more wins. Evans won the Tour at 34 years of age, so why not?”

Following the Tour, he will target the Vuelta a España. He won the race in 2009 and has finished on the podium twice since then.



Unzué believes both his riders are capable of the task he has set for them. “Nairo as well as Alejandro are physically and mentally ready for such goals, and they will have a strong team at their sides which they trust 100%,” he insisted.

“Our strength was always the unity of our group, and it will remain so. We have riders who can excel in all terrains, and the new signings will make us improve even more. I think it's quite a balanced group.”

The team will number 27 riders in 2014, with new arrivals being the Basque brothers Ion and Gorka Izagirre; the Basque climber Igor Antón, the Spanish sprinter Juanjo Lobato, as well as Italian rider Adriano Malori, the German Jasha Sütterlin, Frenchman John Gadret and Quintana’s brother Dayer.

Those eight will join nineteen existing riders, with a total of fourteen countries being represented.



In addition to the Grand Tour goals, the team wants to try to exceed the victory totals from the past three years, namely 21, 29 and 32 wins.

Those successes have included eight stages in the Giro d'Italia, five in the Tour de France and four in the Vuelta a España.


MOVISTAR TEAM 2014 ROSTER

Andrey Amador (Costa Rica, 27)
Igor Antón (Spain, 30) *
Eros Capecchi (Italy, 27)
Jonathan Castroviejo (Spain, 26)
Alex Dowsett (UK, 25)
Imanol Erviti (Spain, 30)
John Gadret (France, 34) *
Iván Gutiérrez (Spain, 35)
Jesús Herrada (Spain, 23)
José Herrada (Spain, 28)
Beñat Intxausti (Spain, 27)
Gorka Izagirre (Spain, 26) *
Ion Izagirre (Spain, 24) *
Pablo Lastras (Spain, 38)
Juan José Lobato (Spain, 25) *
Adriano Malori (Italy, 26) *
Javier Moreno (Spain, 29)
Rubén Plaza (Spain, 33)
Dayer Quintana (Colombia, 21) *
Nairo Quintana (Colombia, 23)
José Joaquín Rojas (Spain, 28)
Enrique Sanz (Spain, 24)
Jasha Sütterlin (Germany, 21) *
Sylwester Szmyd (Poland, 35)
Alejandro Valverde (Spain, 33)
Fran Ventoso (Spain, 31)
Giovanni Visconti (Italy, 30)

* New signings.

Staff:

General Manager: Eusebio Unzué.
Directeurs sportif: José Luis Jaimerena, Alfonso Galilea, José Luis Arrieta, Chente García Acosta, José Luis Laguía.
Mechanics: Fernando Sánchez, Tomás Amezaga, Fermín Gómez, Senen Pintado, Alexander Gubanov, Aritz Berruezo.
Carers: José Ángel Arenas, Juan Carlos Escámez, Borja Jaimerena, Fernando Gómez, Garikoitz Baños, Iñaki Aranguren, Mikel Otero, Borja Rodríguez.
Doctors: Jesús Hoyos, Alfredo Zúñiga.
Osteopathist: David Puigdefábregas.
 

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