Three key riders of Telefónica's squad, useful in the mountains and the classics, to fulfil their third straight season in Blue colours; Sebastián Unzué / Jorge Sanz-led outfit already with 11 confirmed riders for next year.
The Movistar Team confirmed Friday three contact extensions for the 2020 season with its current riders Eider Merino, Alba Teruel (ESP) and Aude Biannic (FRA). With those three, the Telefónica-backed squad now has 11 riders confimed in its roster -still not closed– for next year, after previous renewals for Alicia González, Sheyla Gutiérrez, Lourdes Oyarbide and Gloria Rodríguez (ESP) plus the signings of Katrine Aalerud (NOR), Sofia Bertizzolo, Barbara Guarischi (ITA) and Jelena Erić (SRB).
Merino, 25, continues to be one of the most talented climbers in Spanish cycling. The national road race champion from 2018 was 9th this season at the Emakumeen Bira, as well as 16th in the Giro Rosa, winner of two races in the Basque Country (Zaldibar and Gorla) and 5th in the new UCI event Emakumeen Nafarroako Klasikoa. The Basque will remain for a sixth consecutive year alongside Alba Teruel, who continues to improve as a rouleur, sprinter and domestique, still very young as she will turn 23 on Saturday. 4th at the opening stage of the Vuelta a Burgos and 6th in the Spanish Series round of Dos Hermanas, the Valencia native continues to gather experience and show her commitment.
Alongside them stays Biannic, 28, with her vast international experience and her valuable skills for all kinds of races, whether it’s shining in the toughest classics or supporting her leaders in the stageraces. French road race champion in 2018, she snatched a brilliant bronze medal this June and took 7th place in the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad back in March.
“These were three fundamental pieces for us to retain so we could build a solid team for next season,” reflects Sebastián Unzué, manager for the women’s Movistar Team. “They are three ladies who have been a part of our team since the beginning, and we wanted to thank them for their great work and commitment since then. Aude is a ‘life insurance’ for us in a every race she takes part in. A true allrounder, one able to do well wherever she’s required and, above that, an excellent domestique. We couldn’t allow ourselves not retaining her, because she’s such a huge asset for us.”
“Eider is one of our go-to riders to aim for GCs in the hardest stageraces, A pure climber who also does really well against the clock. Her consistency and climbing abilities make her a solid rider for the most mountainous courses. In turn, Alba has become a really valuable team rider in the last two years. Sometimes her work is not valued enough or can’t be watched from the TV, yet she’s a spectacular rider, who is always willing to help the others and also takes advantage from her individual chances. She continues to progress, and I’m convinced she will continue to grow next season and take huge steps forward.”
Cover picture (c): Velofocus