We sum up everything achieved by Echávarri and Unzué’s squad in the ‘Corsa Rosa’ since their first participation (1988), with focus on Indurain and Quintana’s three overall victories.
A picture known by all cycling fans: Pedro Delgado covered in snow at the Passo Gavia during the 1988 Giro.
José Miguel Echávarri took advantage of a mountainous route to bring Reynolds to the 1988 Giro, getting ready for a Tour de France which ‘Perico’ ultimately won. He finished 7th overall (second at the Selvino stage), yet what he won’t ever forget was the cold, snowy conditions into that descent to Bormio.
Back to the Giro in 1991 -with Bernard (13th) as top Banesto finisher-, Miguel Indurain followed the same path Perico went through to win the Tour in 1992: not racing in Spain rather than Italy, en route to his second TDF success. After only three stages, he was already in the lead…
It was ultimately a dominant performance from Indurain, which made the Villava legend become the first Spaniard to win the Giro in 75 years of history. He owned the time trials -taking almost 3′ of advantage in Milano- and relentlessly crossed the mountains with no setbacks. The Giro was his.
Indurain at the podium in Milan, flanked by Claudio Chiappucci and Franco Chioccioli.
Miguel comes back to the Giro in 1993 with bib #1. And even though he dons the Maglia Rosa early, after the TT to Senigallia -a one-two for Banesto, with De las Cuevas in 2nd place-, and wins again in the tough, 55km mountain TT to Sestriere, Latvian Piotr Ugrumov did not make things any easy for Indurain.
Ugrumov, supported by Moreno Argentin, made Indurain crack after many attacks into the climb to Oropa, 5km before the finish. Miguel struggles. He loses terrain. He sees rivals getting past him. He’s still holding a 1’34” advantage overall. Echávarri, always a calm man, cheers for him nervously. And at the finish line…
… Indurain concedes only 36″ against Ugrumov, and wins the 1993 Giro by a minute before the former Soviet rider. Miguel has already got four Grand Tours. Less than two months later, the Spaniard will crown his second consecutive Giro-Tour double, another big piece of his legend.
The 1993 Giro d’Italia podium, with Indurain, Ugrumov and Chiappucci.
The 1994 Giro would be different. Miguel could only finish 4th at the Follonica TT, and even with an impressive, courageous effort to reduce his 4′ gap against the race leader, a big day of suffering in Aprica takes him down to 3rd overall, after Berzin and a young Marco Pantani.
Absent between 1996 and 1998, Banesto comes back to the race in 1999 and completes another brilliant participation in 2001. Pablo Lastras wins in his maiden Grand Tour, at the finish of stage 11 in Gorizia…
… and an extremely consistent Unai Rosa finishes in 3rd overall. A podium for Banesto, seven years after the last one.
The Abarca Sports organisation comes back to the Giro, already known as Caisse d’Epargne, as the UCI ProTour dawns in 2005. A year later, Joan Horrach becomes the third team rider to win a stage in the ‘Corsa Rosa’. He did so in Sestri Levante, at the 2006 race.
Another unforgettable race was the 2010 Giro, with David Arroyo. A 56-rider (!!) breakaway to L’Aquila; an escape to pink in Asolo…
… and his descent through the Mortirolo, defending his coveted Maglia with an impressive attitude. He finished 2nd in that Giro, a prelude of another brilliant era for the squad in Italy, known -already- as Movistar Team.
No edition since Telefónica took over as title sponsor has seen the Blues leave the Giro empty-handed. Two victories came in 2011: the second one, notched up by Vasil Kiryienka atop Sestriere, was a tribute to Xavi Tondo.
Two weeks before, Ventoso came victorious across an uphill sprint in Fiuggi.
Two other stage victories were claimed by the Movistar Team in 2012. Here Ventoso, on stage ten in Frosinone.
At Cervinia, on stage 14 of the 2012 Giro, Andrey Amador claimed his maiden pro success.
Beñat Intxausti was able to wear pink for 24 hours in 2013, preceeding the unforgettable four wins taken by the Blues in that race.
Alex Dowsett won the Saltara ITT…
… Giovanni Visconti grabbed two stage victories in Vicenza and the Galibier…
… and Intxausti offered another success to Tondo at Ivrea.
The 2014 Giro wasn’t easy by any means for Nairo Quintana. Following his Tour de France debut and podium finish, many ranked him as top favourite for the ‘Corsa Rosa’. He got sick on week two and had to cover the longest ITT of the race while still recovering. He was left back almost 4′ in the provisional GC, with countryman Rigoberto Urán in the lead…
At Oropa and Montecampione, Quintana shows signs of recovery, and following the final rest day…
… the Colombian hit hard in Val Martello, putting three minutes on all contenders at the final climb to take his first GC lead in the Giro.
Quintana in pink after stage 16 of the 2014 Giro d’Italia.
Until the last finish line in Trieste: Nairo Quintana did not allow anyone getting over him.
The final blow to secure his overall success came at the Monte Grappa TT, where he showed he was the strongest climb and fully-deserved GC victor.
A party for Colombia, which witnessed the first ever success for one of their riders in the Giro, and also the Movistar Team, offering Telefónica a win in a Grand Tour after three and a half years of support.
The first one for the Blues: the #GiroDiNairo.
Quintana with the Trofeo Senza Fine.
The maiden Grand Tour for the Movistar Team.
The 2015 Giro was a confirmation of Andrey Amador’s impressive potential.
Amador took a brilliant, well-fought 4th place overall in the 2015 Giro d’Italia, having made part of the provisional GC podium for many stages.
The 2015 Giro also marked the first Maglia Azzurra as King of the Mountains for a Movistar Team member: Giovanni Visconti.
Beñat Intxausti notched up another stage win in the 2015 Giro, at the top of Campitello Matese.
At the 2016 Giro, a certain Alejandro Valverde took on the challenge of racing all three Grand Tours. His debut in Italy was excellent: stage win in Andalo…
… plus 3rd place overall, overcoming from a difficult day in Corvara (stage 14).
In turn, Andrey Amador lived a lifetime’s experience in Pink.
Valverde with Nibali and Chaves on the final podium of the 2016 Giro.
And we get to 2017. Nairo Quintana, already a dual Grand Tour overall winner with his 2016 Vuelta a España success, aimed for a second Giro win in its 100th edition…
His start was astonishing, climbing to Maglia Rosa with an impressive Blockhaus effort (stage nine).
Quintana wears the pink before the second rest day of the 2017 Giro.
A day before the Blockhaus, Gorka Izagirre won in Peschici.
The Foligno TT and the Oropa mountain stage set Tom Dumoulin as a solid race leader.
Quintana, full of courage, resilience and suffering, bounced back in Piancavallo to lead the race before Milán.
Hugging Rojas after stage 19, which put him back into the lead.
Leading the GC group after the Foza climb, the last ascent of the 2017 Giro.
By just 31″, Quintana finished 2nd overall in the 2017 Giro.
Shaking hands with overall victor Tom Dumoulin.
The 2017 Giro marked the first team GC win for the Movistar squad.