Event at Madrid's Telefónica headquarters
Alejandro Valverde -well through his recovery process- unveils new Endura kit set to be worn next year by the Blues' two rosters: the long-established men's WorldTour outfit and the new UCI women's squad
Few hours after the end of the Vuelta a España, Telefónica opened the doors of its central headquarters in Madrid to the media and VIPs for an overview of the Movistar Team's 2017 season -to finish at the Tour of Guangxi (China) in late October- and announce two important news regarding the squad's future. The event was headlined by the presence of Carlos López Blanco, Telefónica's General Director of Public Affairs and Regulation; Eusebio Unzué, General Manager of the Movistar Team; and Alejandro Valverde, still recovering from his injuries sustained at a crash on stage one of the Tour de France.
Unzué commented on the results obtained at the opening nine months of the 2017 season –including 31 victorias; success at top-ranked races like País Vasco, Catalunya, Tirreno-Adriatico, Liège-Bastogne-Liège and Flecha Valona, as well as a second-place overall finish in the Giro d'Italia– and the difficulties suffered during the second part of the calendar, with a gamble on the youngest riders in the roster as a result.
Alejandro Valverde also shaed with the media present in Madrid on the progress of his recovery process, as well as his excitement about getting back to his top form in the upcoming 2018 season. By the Spaniard's words, his own recovery, combined with the quality by Nairo Quintana and Mikel Landa and the potential shown by the youngsters, all combine for the Movistar Team to be a candidate for success in the biggest competitions next season.
New 2018 Endura kit
One of the fundamental parts of the event was the unveiling of the new Movistar Team kit for 2018, designed and hand-made by Endura in Escocia. The shorts remain in the same dark blue chosen for previous seasons, standing out from a resplendent, new light blue used for the jersey, in compliance with the new image of the Movistar brand.
Another reason why the Movistar Team is changing colours in 2018 is to favour visibility of the riders on the road (both team pros and recreational cyclists), another principle behind the #RodamosJuntos campaign whcih Movistar activated during the Vuelta a España.
The initiative, supported by the Spanish High Sports Council, the Directorate General of Traffic, La Vuelta, RTVE and the Spanish Cycling Federation, has drew audiences over 20 million people during the three weeks of racing, and will continue during the Movistar Bike Day in Madrid on October 1st.
The biggest news from the day was the confirmation of a new women's Movistar Team being established in 2018. The birth of this squad is a boost from Telefónica and Abarca Sports to the strength of women's cycling in Spain, committed to offer Spanish riders the best conditions possible to compete in the international peloton, with the same equipment the men's team uses.
Movistar will also collaborate with the Spanish Cycling Federation into several proyects to foster grassroots cycling in the country, aiming to reach 1.9 million women on bikes in the future. An official statement from the Federation considers “this project will revitalise women's cycling as a whole in Spain, offering more visibility to both races and sportswomen and attracting new sponsors.”
Big Data at La Vuelta
In turn, Elena Gil (CEO LUCA – Telefónica Data Unit) and Pedro Antonio de Alarcón (Director of Big Data for Social Good) presented the results of the Big Data analysis conducted during the recent Vuelta a España. The studies included Big Data and advanced analysis techniques over three relevant sources of data: Mobilityh of people (based on activity generated by their mobile phones), TV Audiences and Social Media (Twitter).
The analysis shows clear results about the massive impact La Vuelta has on sports and society, as well as on those municipalities and cities which are part of the race's route. It also confirms that the attractive route designed by the organisers has improved audiences stage by stage, keeping interest until the very end of the race. The LUCA team will help La Vuelta's managing team assessing their routes and establishing new patrons for the upcoming years.