Blue squad wears their best clothes to the event held at Distrito Telefónica’s Auditorium in Madrid on Wednesday, departs this evening to Mallorca before the team’s European debut in the Challenge on Sunday
The 2012 Movistar Team project was presented to the media today at the Telefónica Auditorium in Madrid’s company headquarters in the Distrito Telefónica. The 28 riders of Spanish cycling’s prime force roster took part in an event attended by Telefónica’s Presidence Technical General Secretary Luis Abril, who made an overview on the team’s performances last season and showed really satisfied towards the success obtained and the great expectations for the new season: “Last year, I only asked you to do things well and honor the brand. The grade of your accomplishment was the highest. I don’t think that there’s anyone at Telefónica not feeling proud of you. In a really hard season from a psychological point of view, you defended the brand and its values and defended yourselves as professionals as real lions. You gave exactly the impression we wanted you to give the world, and thanks to you, the sport did not get lost. For 2012, I just ask you to keep dignifying this sport, to keep doing things properly, honouring our brands and carry out your duty. If you accomplish those objectives, the sky will be our limit.“
Movistar Team general manager Eusebio Unzué, one of the most acclaimed coaches in the sport in Spain with seven Tour de France victories, emphasized the hope generated by the new signings for this season: “Last year was a success on the sporting side, because we were able to get 20 victories with no big stars, and above all, due to the unanimous recognition we had towards our image and attitude. For this reason, we are keeping the same block and will have some riders joining to prop up our level, in some cases able to lead the squad, such as Alejandro Valverde and Juanjo Cobo, two world references. We will not be setting any specific marks, but it’s obvious that we have the potential to fight for victories in the most important races.” Apart from Valverde, winner of the 2010 Vuelta a España, and Cobo, the current reigning champion of the Spanish grandtour, the team has a strong roster featuring Italian and Spanish national road championships Giovanni Visconti and José Joaquín Rojas; world-class riders like Fran Ventoso, Vasil Kiryienka or David Arroyo, and some of the world’s most promising youngsters, such as Colombian Nairo Quintana, Costa Rican Andrey Amador, Portuguese Rui Costa or Spaniards Beñat Intxausti, Jonathan Castroviejo, Ángel Madrazo or Jesús Herrada.
The Spanish squad, which made an impressive debut season last year with 21 victories, including successes in both Giro, Tour and Vuelta, has already started winning in the recently-started 2012 season, thanks to the victorious sprint by Alejandro Valverde in the Queen stage of the Tour Dwon Under, the opening World Tour race in Australia whose team ranking has Movistar Team into the second place up to the moment. 250 days of competitions are still to come for the squad, with more than sixty people making part of the team travelling to sixteen countries in four continents. The Challenge de Mallorca, starting on Sunday and which the Movistar Team will depart to after the event, will be the group’s European debut this year.