Telephone squad scores best start ever in five years in Blue, offering excellent performances in all terrains while equalling 2014 victory account (seven) and almost doubling its podium finishes at the end of February
Numbers that seemed unbeatable -the ones obtained in an unforgettable 2014 season- seem more and more reachable for the Movistar Team. In just 35 days' time after their first outing in Australia, Eusebio Unzué's group is already beating its own records. The telephone squad has equalled the seven victories obtained at the end of last year's Ruta del Sol -far from the four (2013), three (2012) and four (2011) claimed on previous debuts-, and it did so with five riders -three wins for Lobato; one for Rojas, Malori, Moreno and Valverde each- compared to only three -four for 'Bala', two by Nairo Quintana and another one from Malori- who have raised their arms victorious in the precedent early-season.
The comparison looks even better by checking the number of podiums. The, the Movistar Team 2015 debut is unbeatable: 24, almost doubling what they did in 2014 (14) and well above the three prior seasons -12 in 2013; seven in 2012; nine in Telefónica's first season as main sponsor in 2011-. The Blues have also obtained one top-ten finish (50) per thousand kilometers -they add up to 50,397km until last Sunday, combining all competitions so far in 2015-.
Into the fight with other WorldTour squads, the lads directed by Unzué are also well represented. Only two teams (Etixx, 11, and Sky, 8) have claimed more wins so far this year; only the former -with Meersman, Cavendish, Terpstra, Urán and Martin- have won with the same amount of riders; and apart from the UCI ranking, which counts only the points from the Tour Down Under, ranking the Spanish team in 3rd, no one beats the green 'M' at the Procyclingstats ranking, counting all UCI races. Movistar Team (1,327), Sky (1,254), BMC (1,228) y Etixx (1,120) are on top.
The most important challenges in this season are still to come for the Movistar Team -it won't be till March 7 when the Blues are back into racing for the Strade Bianche in Italy-, but the good performance in numbers and, above all, in feelings, make for a really promising start to a dream season.