Eusebio Unzué's squad - winners of the UCI WorldTour team ranking for the last four seasons in a row - will seek again for a top spot in the Tour de France; hopes to repeat remarkable achievements from 2016, one of their best years to date
Telefónica presented on Wednesday what will be the Movistar Team's seventh season with the Blue jersey. The event, held at Madrid's Telefónica headquarters, allowed distinguished guests, media and Telefónica employees meeting the four-time UCI WorldTour winning team, the trophy being presented by the Blues to the company's CEO José María Álvarez-Pallete during the official photocall prior to the main act. General Manager of the Spanish outfit Eusebio Unzué and Telefónica's General Director of Public Issues and Regulation, Carlos López-Blanco, spoke, together with team stars – such as Nairo Quintana, Alejandro Valverde or Andrey Amador – on the present and future of a 28-rider roster of absolute top class. Its six new faces will strengthen a group with nine different nationalities and ten members above 26 years old, a proof of the strong gamble for the sport's up-and-coming-talents by the team.
Unzué underlined once again their gratitude towards Telefónica and all of the team's partners, and talked about the goals for the team this year: “Obviously, Grand Tours will remain our objective for the new season, coming from podium finishes in all of them through the last few years. We're trying to fight again for Tour de France overall success, the only GT we haven't won with Telefónica as main sponsors. Plus, even though it's becoming increasingly harder to finish as the WorldTour's best team, we will try to remain consistent all over the season to fight again for that coveted place we earned during the last four seasons.”
In turn, López-Blanco celebrated “the winning partnership between Telefónica and the Movistar Team, which will continue through 2019, as we announced last year. That fact about the ten riders under 26 years old also means a lot to us: having young riders chasing for glory, behind such consistent riders like Quintana and Valverde, is a guarantee of success."
The event also showed the attendees the strength of the combined efforts between Telefónica and Abarca Sports to improve cycle racing through technology. Telefonica's Chief Data Officer Chema Alonso explained how Big Data, through Telefónica's LUCA unit, is taking advantage from all sets obtained from Movistar Team riders during the 2016 season to improve their training plans and offer new variables of consideration for critical decisions during the new season. The works are set to reinforce the prevalence of the Movistar Team in the digital world, the Blues already recognized as one of the most popular teams in the world with 1.2 million fans on their different social media profiles on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and SoundCloud, as well as their official movistarteam.com site.
In 2017, the Movistar Team, which will start their Spanish and European campaign on Thursday with the first trophy of the Mallorca Challenge, will fight again for overall success in the Tour de France, following the four podium finishes in as many years by their leaders Nairo Quintana and Alejandro Valverde. It will be the main landmark of a season where the Giro and the Vuelta, together with the best one-week races and classics of the world calendar, will be the biggest goals of a season where they hope to obtain a fifth consecutive UCI WorldTour title.