Telephone squad starts fourth season in cycling's top tier with stated goal of claiming overall victory in one of the three Grand Tours
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PICTURES | 2014 Movistar Team launch gallery
VIDEOS | The road – 2013 UCI WorldTour champions
The Movistar Team, winners of the 2013 UCI WorldTour, launched their 2014 season on Friday at Telefónica’s headquarts in Madrid. The event was attended by Telefónica CEO César Alierta, Public Issues’ Global Director Carlos López Blanco and the squad’s General Manager Eusebio Unzué. The 27 riders wore the blue and green jersey with which they will cover Movistar’s fourth season in the top division of professional cycling.
Telefónica came back into cycling sponsoring three years ago, in February 2011, boosting a close, interactive sport which reaches thousands of fans. It was a three-year opening term full of success, coming to its top in 2013 with the UCI’s recognition as best team in the world, by virtue of the UCI WorldTour ranking that includes the best races in the sport.
Signings for 2014 are brothers Ion and Gorka Izagirre; climber Igor Antón; sprinter Juanjo Lobato; Adriano Malori, from Italy; Jasha Sütterlin, from Germany; John Gadret, from France; and Colombian Dayer Quintana, the younger brother of Nairo. Eight new faces for a season where the Movistar Team will pursue new challenges in its long, successful career.
Ten months are ahead for the Movistar Team, competing across 14 countries in four different continents where the squad directed by Eusebio Unzué will try to repeat, if not to improve, their victory tally of the last three years, with 21, 29 and 32 wins, respectively, including eight stages in the Giro d’Italia, five in the Tour de France and four in the Vuelta a España. “After such great success, it’s obvious that our goal must be trying to win one of the three Grand Tours,” explained Unzué.
”Last year we already got to the final podium of both the Tour, with Quintana, and the Vuelta, where Valverde has finished 2nd and 3rd 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. As well Nairo as Alejandro are physically and mentally ready for such goals, and they will have a strong team at their sides which they trust 100%.” The Movistar Team’s general manager underlined the global quality of his riders: “Our strength was always the unity of our block, 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 block.”
In turn, Carlos López Blanco, Telefónica’s Public Issues’ Global Director, congratulated the squad for their results and remarked during the 2014 Movistar Team launch the positive overview of a three-year lapse full of hard work that has helped to promote the brand and dignifiy and honour the sport. López Blanco reminded that the corporation took the decision of supporting one of the best teams in the world by its results, tradition and ranking in a difficult moment, so the Movistar Team could still undoubdtedly be today a leading factor in international cycling.
A team even more digital and close to the fans
During the presentation, it was underlined how cycling acts as a nexus between Movistar and its fans and customers. In that sense, it was announced that Movistar will be sharing with them unique experiences during Grand Tours or the cycling rides proposed by the brand, with more than 5,000 people taking part in 2013 in events where they got to ride alongside some of the team’s members
Besides, Telefónica looks for the Movistar Team to be a space for innovation in the digital world – that’s why the network will be boosted during the season as a promotion factor for the sport and the team’s activities. One of the biggest challenges will be getting more visibility for the team in all Europe, Latin America and Asia.
Telefónica announced it is working on a project to develop virtual cycling rides, as well as high-quality content through a Premium YouTube channel, with training videos, pieces on the riders’ everyday life, tips and tricks for amateur cyclists of specific content around the Movistar Team in the biggest cycling events.
During this season, Movistar will be boosting its Bike&Go cycling app to make it differential amongst the ones in its same category. To do so, it will be including gamification initiatives to allow competition between its users, as well as augmented reality for a more interactive user experience.
Lastly, Telefónica announced it has launched the Talentum Startups “Bike Lab”, a program for university students willing to work on technological projects about cycling, coached by members of the Movistar Team and innovation specialists.
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)
General Manager: Eusebio Unzué. Sports Directors: 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. Office: Francisco Fdez. Maestre, Juan Pablo Molinero, David García, Dani Sánchez, Verónica Lorca, Elena Sánchez.