Telephone squad’s America Tour project given a boost with arrival by two references to reinforce the team in their second season in cycling elite
Rider Luis Pasamontes and coach José Luis Laguía will be the two most significant signings from Movistar Team Continental 2012 as the season for the American group starts tomorrow with the opening stage in the Vuelta al Táchira. Even though both won’t be part of the upcoming Venezuelan event, his joining to the project -they will head into Colombia in February- means a substantial reinforcement to the squad in their second year in the elite peloton after a brilliant 2011 with 24 victories. “It’s another step forward in the Europeanization of our American structure,” explained general manager Eusebio Unzué. “Given how successful the team was during its first season, these two people leading the project with their experience is a really important advance for us, and we think that this is the best way to continue with their progression.”
Pasamontes, Movistar Team rider in Europe last season, will have a crucial role into the roster of the squad led by Libardo Leyton. More over his proved, high-end conditions on the road, with ten years as pro racer, the Spaniard will become the Blue squad’s road captain. “We know him for a number of years now, and apart from his performance on the bike, we know what his personal abilities are, how he gets to form a united group and get his teammates into good order on the road,” appoints Unzué. “It’s a really important task that he indeed could have kept doing in Europe, but we consider it’s more important, even crucial, that he gets into the Continental team. Back in December, he stayed with the group during a training camp in Colombia, and the first sensations have been phenomenal.
In turn, José Luis Laguía will be the coordinator of the entire structure -nearly 30 people- at Movistar Team Continental. His long experience -a legend of Spanish cycling as a rider- and a remarkable manager at different duties -president of the Riders’ Association, sports director…- are the guarantee of success for a duty that feels like fundamental in the squad’s consolidation. “Even though we lost touch with him for some time, he always was a teammate for us,” Unzué put forward. “As a rider, he was part of our very first roster in 1980, and he was the one who shone the first for Reynolds. Apart from that, he proved to be a man with enormous human quality for groups managing. He will be our main reference there and I’m sure he’ll develop a great work alongside Libardo and all staff members. I have total confidence on Joselu and he’s a very respected man in Colombia, because, above other things, he was the man supporting Botero in chase for his country’s sole World ITT Championships title to date.”
Reflections on their new challenges from Laguía and Pasamontes to follow tomorrow.