Teams & Riders Team Movistar-thread

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Oh, and good news for those who might have been concerned about Movistar ruining another jersey: Telco'm had already issued an absolutely pathetic Puerto Rican national jersey, so Abner González' kit won't be any worse.



All joking aside, though, I like the pickup. He was 5th overall in the Copa España amateur rankings, and he's 18 months younger than the youngest rider above him, Spiuk's David Martín. Jordi López, in 2nd overall, is out of Movistar's feeder and 2 years older, but he's going to Kern Pharma with other middle-grounders like Martí Márquez and Kiko Galván while Abner is coming from outside their setup straight to the top floor - though it might have been a case where they decided they liked what they saw (I can definitely see why Unzué would like his skillset and the fact that he acquitted himself so well in Spain's amateur scene as a 19-year-old) and getting him straight up to the Pro team was the only way to facilitate that. And he thereby becomes the most successful product of the Inteja Dominican project, and he's not a Dominican...
 
A thought about what to do with Marc Soler. He's way too inconsistent to ever be a GC rider for GTs. In the right circumstances can do GC in 1 week or shorter races. However he really should be a stage hunter. My other thought is that if he's on a good day he could also be a good 1 day rider. Again inconsistency is going to play a part here, but if you take him as a co leader for 1 day races he could prove to be good at that.
 
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A thought about what to do with Marc Soler. He's way too inconsistent to ever be a GC rider for GTs. In the right circumstances can do GC in 1 week or shorter races. However he really should be a stage hunter. My other thought is that if he's on a good day he could also be a good 1 day rider. Again inconsistency is going to play a part here, but if you take him as a co leader for 1 day races he could prove to be good at that.
I think he's also good for one-week races, especially in tougher conditions. If I was responsible, I'd send him to the Spanish one-week races for GC mostly, secondly for stage hunting in Giro and Vuelta and one day races as a leader.
 
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I think he's also good for one-week races, especially in tougher conditions. If I was responsible, I'd send him to the Spanish one-week races for GC mostly, secondly for stage hunting in Giro and Vuelta and one day races as a leader.
I'd definitely be sending him to Catalonia as that his home race. For the other 1 week races they need to figure out which are better for him and which are better for Mas.
My thought as co leader for 1 days races is partly his inconsistency and partly because Jorgensen this year showed some potential in those races. I agree about doing the Giro/Vuelta as a stage hunter. I actually think the Giro may fit his climbing abilities better than the other two GTs do.
 
I was pretty bullish on Soler as a GT contender. I'm not quite sure why he hasn't yet panned out. I still think he's a great talent and we've seen him ride with the best on his day.

I'm not sure that Movistar can afford to have a dedicated stage hunter at the Vuelta, though. Seems like with Mas -- and/or potentially Lopez -- they need to have all hands on deck for support. Maybe at the Giro?

I love Lopez; he's one of my favorite riders. I'm pretty excited to see him on Movistar. I have a bit of an animus against Astana b/c of Vino, who I really wish would have just left the sport (I feel the same way about Riis).
 
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A thought about what to do with Marc Soler. He's way too inconsistent to ever be a GC rider for GTs. In the right circumstances can do GC in 1 week or shorter races. However he really should be a stage hunter. My other thought is that if he's on a good day he could also be a good 1 day rider. Again inconsistency is going to play a part here, but if you take him as a co leader for 1 day races he could prove to be good at that.
A simple answer: nothing. He is more than capable to lead the team in several one-week stage races as he has the key elements to do well: a big engine, great against the clock and decent in the mountains. In the GT's he can hunt for stages, nothing wrong with that.
 
So, with the extensions of Mora and Torres (Olympics 2021) there are 2 spots left. Probably Lopez and the last spot between Barta and Nizzolo? Nizzolo could sign for two more years with Qubeka, but he admitted in La Gazzetta he is also in talks with 2 other WT teams.
 
A simple answer: nothing. He is more than capable to lead the team in several one-week stage races as he has the key elements to do well: a big engine, great against the clock and decent in the mountains. In the GT's he can hunt for stages, nothing wrong with that.
This.
There is nothing to do if he is not a GC rider. However there has been a plethora of riders who at the start of their careers were inconsistent and then found a way to be GC guys. Delgado was one of them. Uran as well (although he hasn't won one GT). And many others.
 
The wind of change goes on... Mikel Zabala ( coach of Valverde), Manuel Mateo ( ex-coach of Quintana) and Iosune Murillo (ex-coach of Carapaz) are leaving Movistar. Either Paxti Vila wants to work with his own people or the exodus is forced due to financial matters.

 
I was pretty bullish on Soler as a GT contender. I'm not quite sure why he hasn't yet panned out. I still think he's a great talent and we've seen him ride with the best on his day.

I'm not sure that Movistar can afford to have a dedicated stage hunter at the Vuelta, though. Seems like with Mas -- and/or potentially Lopez -- they need to have all hands on deck for support. Maybe at the Giro?

I love Lopez; he's one of my favorite riders. I'm pretty excited to see him on Movistar. I have a bit of an animus against Astana b/c of Vino, who I really wish would have just left the sport (I feel the same way about Riis).
I think what you do with Soler, you count him as Domestique deluxe. Maybe early in a GT, let him get in a Mountain stage breakaway, and if he happens to get in one that goes the distance and get some time (A la Alaphillippe 19 Tour or Porte 10 Giro) then you let him try and ride the 3 week tour as a leader and see if he can put the pieces together. Especially if the team doesn't have a strong GC defender.

I like Lopez as a rider, but I have a thing about South American riders that they seem to peak earlier in their career then most riders. They seem to peak around 23-26, and seem to fade as they get to 30s, especially in GTs. It may be because they spend so much time at altitude, that they hit their peak early due to being able to train in these conditions at a younger age. Uran seems to be the one that has been able to make his waves as he got in his 30s.
 
Here's an article (in Spanish) where Unzue was interviewed and spoke about multiple things. Says Lopez signing there is 50/50. He talks about the season being tough, but they knew that was possible with the rebuild they are doing. However, he was also very happy with the atmosphere in the team that was so much better than the last few years. When it comes to Valverde he expects Valverde to be back to more normal in 2021. He said that all the veterans (regardless of teams) were struggling this year and that in Valverde's case there were some other things going on. Then add to that Alejandro is being told that after 25 years you have to race and train in a different way that it destabilized him.

 
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So MAL got confirmed. Will be interesting if they send him to the Tour with the rest or to the Giro. He never really wanted to ride the Tour at Astana and only finally did it this year when the route was good for him, so I he could end up doing Giro-Vuelta once again. Him and guys like Samitier, Alba and Rubio could be an interesting team for the Giro.
Otherwise it could be Soler and the young guys at the Giro while both Mas and MAL go to the Tour with Valverde and Mühlberger.
 
So MAL got confirmed. Will be interesting if they send him to the Tour with the rest or to the Giro. He never really wanted to ride the Tour at Astana and only finally did it this year when the route was good for him, so I he could end up doing Giro-Vuelta once again. Him and guys like Samitier, Alba and Rubio could be an interesting team for the Giro.
Otherwise it could be Soler and the young guys at the Giro while both Mas and MAL go to the Tour with Valverde and Mühlberger.
If MAL truly prefers the Giro to the Tour, I can't see where Movistar would have any problem handing him the leadership of the Giro team.
Mas will do the Tour/Vuelta double again next year and I suspect Soler will as well. Both seem to want that double.
According to Valverde this year was his last Tour. He doesn't want to race the Tour anymore.
I could easily see Movistar sending MAL with a young team to the Giro. Actually it would make sense. If Jorgensen has a good start to the season he may get a shot at the Giro as well. I've read and heard that he was on the long list for their Giro team this year.
 

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