Movistar Team, the best squad in the World Tour’s opening race. It just sounds that good as the final overview of the Spanish team in the Tour Down Under, the first race of the world calendar finishing in Adelaide on Sunday, can’t be more positive.
Neither the rivals nor the crashes could beat them this week. The fall by Chente García Acosta in the 3rd stage, with a strong blow in his leg, forced him to withdraw. Even David López crashed in the Queen Stage, when he was part of the main group, not to forget the one by José Joaquín Rojas today, hitting the ground into the final city course. The Spaniard showed his character by returning into the bunch with his teammates and finishing in 14th place in the day’s mass sprint. The most important note of the day, apart from Ventoso’s sixth place overall, was the confirmation of the overall teams’ victory. The classification that shows better how deep teamwork and unity spirit proclaimed by Movistar Team are, and which has taken the squad to that dreamt image, with all their members celebrating in the final podium. It was the first race and the first success within the world’s top teams in the World Tour opener, joining the spectacular victory by Fran Ventoso in the race’s queen stage. Success that predicts more celebrations for the upcoming races.
“Had they told us about this, I’d have signed under that statement before coming here,” explained José Luis Arrieta in his sparkling debut as sports director, “even though, seeing how the lads raced here, you’re a bit disappointed because we lost Chente and Madrazo was not having a good day when the breakaway got to the finish in the fourth stage. Maybe we’d have been able to close that gap with them and have chances to win the GC. But the outcome is very positive and, above all, the image Movistar Team left in every stage, always fighting for everything, was great. Some directors came to me joking and saying what I was thinking of, whether I thought I could come here and win in my first race… Both riders and technical staff have helped me a lot, and I tried to give my experience. The truth is that starting this way gives you big moral and peace to face what’s to come in the season.”