The Corporate Innovation Center auditorium at Telefónica’s headquarters in Madrid held today the first appearance of the two Blue riders
Movistar team officially presented today their latest, biggest signings, Alejandro Valverde and Juanjo Cobo, at the Corporate Innovation Center of Telefónica’s headquarters in Madrid. Both also unveiled the new outfit the telephone squad will wear in 2012. The two riders showed the new gear in a presentation that could be followed by all fans for the first time live streamed on the team’s official website, www.movistarteam.com. Valverde and Cobo were accompanied in the event by Movistar Team’s general manager Eusebio Unzué and Telefónica’s Technical General Secretary of Presidence, Luis Abril.
In turn, Alejandro Valverde did not hide his satisfaction by returning to competition after twenty months of inactivity: “It’s been a year and a half without competing and that’s why we’got to be cautious, but I think i trained hard and I did things right. I enjoyed really much what I did until this point in my career, and now we’re srarting a new era with this new squad, Movistar Team, which gave me a new opportunity in cycling and which I want to reward with victories.” Valverde will debut on January 15th at the Down Under Classic in Australia, the prelude of the Tour Down Under starting two days later. In the first part of the calendar, the Spaniard will be riding in Majorca, Andalusia, Almeria, Catalonia, the GP Miguel Indurain and País Vasco before starting his preparations for the Tour de France: “I had time enough to train into long time trials, my weakest point. Physically I feel more relaxed. I trained hard, I tried to simulate the hard pace of the competitions, but I didn’t have the reference your rivals give you. I have to see how I respond at the end of the races. Still, if I’m lacking some stamina, I’ll start getting it back in Australia.”
Juanjo Cobo is coming back to what was home for him, although in a short period, in 2010. “I think this will be my chance to get that bad feeling from last year out of myself,” said the winner of the 2011 Vuelta a España. “They gave me confidence and I couldn’t cope with it. Now they gave me a second chance, and my goal is getting some new, big victories for this team, and making us together happy, so I can reward Eusebio back.” Cobo will debut in Majorca in early February and will later peak during the spring in his way to the Tour de France, his first GT of the season, later followed by his quest to defend the victory obtained in the Vuelta a España.
Movistar Team’s general manager Eusebio Unzué thanked Telefónica for their continued support to the squad and proved convinced about the boost given by Valverde and Cobo joining the squad: “The reason for these two signings was putting the icing on top of an already interesting back. I think this 2011 season gave us the opportunity to get to know the brand on the cycling world, where we got, after facing such difficult moments, the big moments of joy, especially to the brilliance they were achieved. Now, with the arrival by Juanjo Cobo or Alejandro, we’ll be able to give this base the shining we wanted to.”