The Movistar sailed adrift last year, hovering over the precipice of descent, until everything clicked in the last third of the season. Since then, the Navarrese squad has been different. Runners who had not won start to do so, others who showed doubts are now brimming with confidence… A series of changes, especially in the mental aspect, which leave the team with great numbers when the racing calendar has only just begun.
Movistar ended February with six victories (they had not achieved it since 2018), or what is the same: second best mark in the entire history of the structure in the first two months of competition. A success of which, curiously, two of the new signings, Fernando Gaviria and Ruben Guerreiro, and two other cyclists who have released their professional record, if Matteo Jorgenson and Einer Rubio.
“The balance is very positive. I think we got off the line at the end of last year, where it was already done very well. Since summer and beginning of autumn, I think that the trend is that. And we have started along the same lines, very happy and very satisfied, ”he explains to AS Iván Velasco, technical manager of Movistar, on the good state of mind that predominates in a team in which many things have changed in recent times: “It is not for a specific reason, but that steps are being taken in a good direction in terms of training, material, technique… We have him idea of being competitive in every race. It is getting the team to show another image, to be a little more aggressive and look for different runners to do the race”.
Movistar seasons with more than 5 victories at the end of February
Part of the revolution of the telephone group, which explains the success of “a formula that focuses on setting objectives and trying to meet them rather than leaving everything up in the air and letting things arrive”, was born from its own leader, a Enric Mas who enjoys a renewed mental strength laudable. “The fall of Dauphiné did a lot of damage psychologically. Got into a very bad little loop. She was not feeling well on the descents, she could not find the feeling You’re welcome and that means that he wasn’t at his level on the Tour. He did a total ‘reset’ for La Vuelta. Even we within the team were surprised by the brutal change that was. He has realized that running like this and controlling the things he can control and not worrying about other external things that can affect him, he is happier, performs better and is happier”, Velasco analyzes about a new version of the Spaniard who makes us dream of the next Large Boucle: “You always have to fight, but you also have to be realistic. Pogacar, where he goes, crushes rivals. Vingegaard, last year, was seen to be up to him, at least in the Tour. There are several riders who have perhaps shown a little more than him, but with the level he was at at the end of last season and now he is getting very close. Let’s see how far he can go We are very excited about him and we are going to fight for everything on the Tour”.
One of the new faces has also contributed to this ‘little big change of chip’. And it is that Guerreiro has fallen on his feet in the blue squad with his stage and general of the Saudi Tour plus his recent podium in O Gran Camiño. “This is a family. It is a very active structure, very consistent, with a very intelligent atmosphere. And I like to learn, I’m still 28, but I’m still learning and I don’t think I’ve reached my limits yet”, The Portuguese explained to AS at the conclusion of a Galician round that, after leaving behind a minor illness that reduced his performance in the Tour of Andalusia, will allow him to reach his next objectives in optimal shape: “Now I will go to the Strade Bianche (this Saturday), a race that I really like, not like this time trial in Santiago (he jokes, since he almost lost the podium with Attila Valter). I really like the dirt, let’s see if I have a bit of luck and stay strong”. Everything flows in the Movistar.