Miguel Ángel Lopez Discussion Thread

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This narrative of nationalistic decisions against South Americans does not make any sense at all.

Movistar had a lot of GTs in the last 10 years where a South American was their clear leader or at least co-leader. They are even scouting these riders emphatically, as the Latin American market is very important to the sponsor (maybe even more important than the European one). So why should they act against the sponsor's interest?

In fact, there have been plenty of incidents where Movistar sacrificed the chances of some Spanish riders, as the South Americans appeared to be more likely to get them victories (Landa riding for Carapaz in Giro 2019, Carapaz also announced as their leader for Vuelta 2019 before his crash, Soler forced to wait for Quintana in Vuelta 2019, Valverde riding for Quintana in Tour 2017 despite being stronger...).

They also did not stop MAL's attack on Gamoniteiru, even if he gained time on Mas.
It's not nationalism it's just been favoritism towards Valverde in the 2015 Tour.
 
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It's not nationalism it's just been favoritism towards Valverde in the 2015 Tour.
True. You can't deny that they often let Valverde follow his own chances instead of sacrificing him for Quintana (even though occasionally it has also been the other way around). It just seems that some people can't get over it and use this as proof for some general nationalistic conspiracy theory.
 
True. You can't deny that they often let Valverde follow his own chances instead of sacrificing him for Quintana (even though occasionally it has also been the other way around). It just seems that some people can't get over it and use this as proof for some general nationalistic conspiracy theory.
I think Libertine was on a good path explaining the backgrounds. It's probably generally prefering certain riders to others - especially Valverde, but not only him. And these favourites are usually Spanish.

I suppose there's also more to it than actually backing certain riders with actions in certain races. We can look at the way that a rider gets supported by domestiques, gets freedom to ride for himself, is allowed to take time or win a stage... but then there are probably also little things that happen every day, in communication. You realize another rider is just the favourite of the boss, he gets backed more in the media, gets talked to more, the bosses ask how he is, his wishes seem very important, he gets invited for a private coffee/ dinner, gets called more often (speculation, I have no idea)... and that can build some resentment.
I mean, when Contador and Valverde talk about Mas being their heir - you might say it's because Mas is more consistent, a better time trialer, easier to work with - but of course they are choosing a Spanish rider for this, not a Latin American.

So, the way I understand it now at some point Unzue yelled at Lopez, himself resignated, a bit heated/ annoyed/ angry, something like "Give it up, damn, it's no use!" And Lopez might very well in that moment, very emotional and frustrated have understood that as "what does your placing mean anyway, all we care about is that Mas is still in front". And that was probably the icing on the cake, after all the frustration he had in the months/ years before, the feeling he got already, that they didn't really care about him.

Okay, so about the national conspiracy theory, it's probably not a general totally nationalistic agenda behind, but some favouritism of some Spanish darlings.

And although Lopez reaction was immature, it's also understandable from a human point of view. Him not being at the dinner was probably a good thing for everyone. The real bad aspect about "his" reaction in my eyes is how his partner and his coach/father in law got involved; in these cases I suppose the way an athlete tells the story to his family makes them react like that, and he probably told the story very one-sided and exaggerated...
 
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I would challenge you to defend that accusation.
Three things could have happened within Movistar's control:
  1. Lopez catches up with the Haig group under his own steam (he tried, and failed)
  2. Mas could have dropped to assist Lopez in catching up (in other words, jeopardising almost certain 2nd on GC in the hope of retaining 3rd going into the TT, in which it could easily have been lost)
  3. Having riders already dropped catch up with the Lopez group and assist in closing the gap to the Haig group (tried and failed)
Please explain:
a) why option 2 would have been beneficial to the team, and
b) why favouring second place over a possibility of third is nationalistic.
Well,

a) I did not suggest Mas should have dropped to help López, absolutely should not have done that
b) there is no problem with that, always shooting for the highest possible result of course, imho just thinking that looking how López did itt in Dauphine compared to Mas, thinking he had gottten better in it, at least same potential as Mas, and thinking also shooting for 2nd-3rd here rather than only 2nd.

But.

I watched stage again yesterday (only seen original on a race day so far). Situation where it happened, where group Roglic went and López missed it..I'm sure he did not had weak moment, he was snappy energetic looking good moments before that. He must just thought it's not dangerous and will come back in an blink of an eye. That did not happen. It was his fair and straight mistake, mistake that Mas did not make in that very moment. Talking about heavy learning moment here.

And about nationalistic choices..I was wrong with that. Too much social media reading on this side of the laptop screen than objective information sources.
 
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This narrative of nationalistic decisions against South Americans does not make any sense at all.

Movistar had a lot of GTs in the last 10 years where a South American was their clear leader or at least co-leader. They are even scouting these riders emphatically, as the Latin American market is very important to the sponsor (maybe even more important than the European one). So why should they act against the sponsor's interest?

In fact, there have been plenty of incidents where Movistar sacrificed the chances of some Spanish riders, as the South Americans appeared to be more likely to get them victories (Landa riding for Carapaz in Giro 2019, Carapaz also announced as their leader for Vuelta 2019 before his crash, Soler forced to wait for Quintana in Vuelta 2019, Valverde riding for Quintana in Tour 2017 despite being stronger...).

They also did not stop MAL's attack on Gamoniteiru, even if he gained time on Mas.
This may or may not be true (frankly it is pretty boring), but from the PR point of view Movistar is doing a terrible job then, because the widespread impression across LATAM is that Movistar only cares about their Spanish riders, the South-American ones an after-thought at best case. When even INEOS has a better acceptance in the region you know you have made a big mistake along the way.
 
This may or may not be true (frankly it is pretty boring), but from the PR point of view Movistar is doing a terrible job then, because the widespread impression across LATAM is that Movistar only cares about their Spanish riders, the South-American ones an after-thought at best case. When even INEOS has a better acceptance in the region you know you have made a big mistake along the way.
What else canbthey do? Victor Hugo Pena was saying that was the case on the Columbian broadcast before the stage was even over. Unzue was literally still in the race car when this started spreading.

There’s always going to be a certain distrust because of the way things went with Nairo. That goes both ways though. There were times Nairo didn’t have the backing of the entire team hen he should have, like the 2015 TDF, and there are times that Nairo was the undisputed leader when he was way off the pace (the entire 2019 season).

Some of that is on Movistar, but it’s also the way Spanish teams often raced post-Indurain. It becomes amplified because for the last 8-10 years Movistar has been the only Spanish World Tour Team.
 
This may or may not be true (frankly it is pretty boring), but from the PR point of view Movistar is doing a terrible job then, because the widespread impression across LATAM is that Movistar only cares about their Spanish riders, the South-American ones an after-thought at best case. When even INEOS has a better acceptance in the region you know you have made a big mistake along the way.
They are settled in a role of eternal victim and will spread all nonsense they can make up without any attention to rational arguments. When some random dude says Lopez was asked to stop to prevent Bernal from endangering Mas position and everyone swallows it, you know there's nothing to do.
Movistar is just going by the saying of 'Never wrestle a pig, you both get dirty and the pig likes it'
 
We cannot confuse ineptitude with nationalism in Movistar. There is absolutely nothing that tells me Movistar is nationalistic. Is there is, they need to change management that's for sure. But I doubt it.

In Colombia people a re very sensitive about the nationalism. Very. I never understood why. Even in other sports with other athletes when they falter or fail at winning or having a good performance they try to bring in the nationalistic card. Don't know why. It gives them relief I guess.

Having said that, in Movistar the ineptitude, when it comes to strategy, sometimes start piling up. But that is another topic for discussion.
 
In Colombia people a re very sensitive about the nationalism. Very. I never understood why. Even in other sports with other athletes when they falter or fail at winning or having a good performance they try to bring in the nationalistic card. Don't know why. It gives them relief I guess.
Maybe it has something to do with country's history? I don't know nothing about Colombia's history and their apparent internal struggles besides that it was a former Spanish colony that broke out thanks to i guess Bolivar in early XIX c. It often happens that the more opressed - as in stuck between hostile, neighboring and bigger powers or enslaved. For me, as an European, there are some examples that may be a bit more nationalistic in foreign (or just mine) eyes like Scandinavia barring Sweden as they were historically the main power, Ireland and Scotland because of UK, Poland because of being stuck between historically strong and power hungry Germany and Russia, Basque and Catalonia because of Spain etc. I myself don't fully understand it so i'm just throwing these half-ideas out to see what sticks.
 
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We cannot confuse ineptitude with nationalism in Movistar. There is absolutely nothing that tells me Movistar is nationalistic. Is there is, they need to change management that's for sure. But I doubt it.

In Colombia people a re very sensitive about the nationalism. Very. I never understood why. Even in other sports with other athletes when they falter or fail at winning or having a good performance they try to bring in the nationalistic card. Don't know why. It gives them relief I guess.

Having said that, in Movistar the ineptitude, when it comes to strategy, sometimes start piling up. But that is another topic for discussion.
Unfortunately, there are only so many races that Lastras can be in the car, and he can only be in one car at a time.
 
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I'm really trying hard not to make judgment on his character after this but, man did he ever f*** up here.
He needs to explain and apologize properly to his team - not necessarily in public so i am not going to assume he has or hasn't but his public statement was a bit of a joke.

Luckily he is super talented so he will be fine in the end with a fat contract next year at Movistar or elsewhere.

But its a permanent stain on him, like Scottie Pippen when he refused to enter a playoff game cuz the play was for someone else to take the last shot.

If i was one of the few remaining doms on Movi the day he abandoned I don't think I could ever really give 100% for him in the future.

Just like at my job, yes i am a professional but there are certain people in my company i will go 'above and beyond' for while others will get a professional effort.
 
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No one would have issues with him if he still finished the race. Blow ups or losing time happens and his scenario is far different than TVG whatever year that was. He lost time from a tactical mistake. It happens. Even if he stopped on the road and then finished the race there would still be no issue.

He can still lead, it isn’t like he is Majka. He brings wins and placements with a blow up at some point. Maybe 2018 was his Chaves year and once in a lifetime.



Honestly it might have been even better viewing seeing Roglic stomp past 2nd and 3rd in the TT.
Rider's egos can be simple and tricky at the same time. Tricky; managing two Movistar youngsters on the rise. Simple: MAL already aware that he'll get beaten by Mas in the TT, crushed by Roglic. Tricky; following every little move in this stage to try to gain time so your GC position doesn't look worse....much worse and then seeing that opportunity ride away. Whether he couldn't react...he didn't so his fate was in his hands and that could make it even harder to handle.
I enjoyed seeing Roglic take the TT with an effort to win. Mas was bait but Primoz needed every second he could gain so his goal was that, then catch Mas?
 
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Maybe it has something to do with country's history? I don't know nothing about Colombia's history and their apparent internal struggles besides that it was a former Spanish colony that broke out thanks to i guess Bolivar in early XIX c. It often happens that the more opressed - as in stuck between hostile, neighboring and bigger powers or enslaved. For me, as an European, there are some examples that may be a bit more nationalistic in foreign (or just mine) eyes like Scandinavia barring Sweden as they were historically the main power, Ireland and Scotland because of UK, Poland because of being stuck between historically strong and power hungry Germany and Russia, Basque and Catalonia because of Spain etc. I myself don't fully understand it so i'm just throwing these half-ideas out to see what sticks.
Was Denmark also more nationalistic than Sweden (in your eyes) in the 1980's (you can extend that backwards to WWII)? (With your interpretation one would surely expect that)
 
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Wielerflits saying MAL and Movistar mutually agreed to terminate the contract.

 
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People who think being naive nationalistic is just a Colombian (with both "o" ffs, they are not Canadian) are being very naive or blind. People from every country are very nationalistic, you only notice when other people do it. As I wrote before the fine tactical points about the race are irrelevant for my argument, my point is that he way Movistar sells the image of the team is very poor (ironically many Spaniards will fight against that notion, I wonder why). When you feel (By interviews, social media posts, team support and selection,etc) than South-American riders are more accepted and protected in a bleeping British team than in your supposedly more culturally close Spanish team, something must have gone wrong beyond the facile "It is that those Colombians are an oddly bunch, not like we coolly rational creatures". Every time a LATAM rider goes to Movistar the collective response here is a groan.It does not help that the actual phone company is widely hated too, lol.
 
Wielerflits saying MAL and Movistar mutually agreed to terminate the contract.

whoa!!

lol if Carapaz had a tough time getting chased down MAL is really gonna pay for it on the road!!!
 
People who think being naive nationalistic is just a Colombian (with both "o" ffs, they are not Canadian) are being very naive or blind. People from every country are very nationalistic, you only notice when other people do it. As I wrote before the fine tactical points about the race are irrelevant for my argument, my point is that he way Movistar sells the image of the team is very poor (ironically many Spaniards will fight against that notion, I wonder why). When you feel (By interviews, social media posts, team support and selection,etc) than South-American riders are more accepted and protected in a bleeping British team than in your supposedly more culturally close Spanish team, something must have gone wrong beyond the facile "It is that those Colombians are an oddly bunch, not like we coolly rational creatures". Every time a LATAM rider goes to Movistar the collective response here is a groan.It does not help that the actual phone company is widely hated too, lol.
We are all nationalistic. At least to some extent in every country. I am. Everyone knows here I cheer for the Colombians. Having said that, it is different when you are nationalistic than blaming faults, failures, poor performances to teams from other countries being nationalistic. Is that is true, that would mean that the sponsors love to throw their millions of euros to the trash when they allow that to happen. I believe that this is a business and even though they would love one rider to win over other, at the end of the day you have a business to run an expose the name of the brand properly.
 
Wielerflits saying MAL and Movistar mutually agreed to terminate the contract.

Everything is in the works. They are working all at once!


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