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[FINISHED] Movistar - Climbing Kings
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Posted on 14-06-2021 15:47
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Ah, sponsorship. The colours we keep wearing, the money which keeps us going, and the voice which keeps demanding! What would we do without them?

Well, it's the 20th of June and my self-imposed deadline is up. If you remember, some time back I'd written saying I was getting worried about the sponsorship offers not coming through. Guess what? Since the 1st of June, as many as 20 sponsors have offered to tie up our team. Yes, that's right, 20! This is in addition to Movistar's offer of a 3 year extension. I'd like to believe this number has something directly to do with our results and the quality of our squad. The good work done over the past couple of years is surely being recognised now.

The following is the list of sponsor offers made, and how I've planned to go ahead with it (Read as 'Sponsor (Host Country) - Important Regions - Contact Till - Sponsorship for Next Year (€) - Considering Offer' ):

1)Scarpa (Italy) - Italy, Australia, New Zealand - 2020 - 918,500 - No
2)Heineken (Netherlands) - Netherlands, USA, Australia - 2021 - 927,800 - No
3)Mapei (Italy) - Italy, Belgium, Spain - 2019 - 999,800 - Yes
4)Puma (Germany) - Germany, UK - 2020 - 965,000 - No
5)Bancolombia (Colombia) - Colombia - 2021 - 955,200 - Yes
6)Seara (Brazil) - Brazil, Colombia, Guatemala - 2021 - 954,000 - No
7)LEGO (Dennmark) - Denmark, USA - 2020 - 984,000 - No
8)Cartoon Network (USA) - USA, UK - 2021 - 919,500 - No
9)Cisco (USA) - USA, UK - 2020 - 960,100 - No
10)Kleenex (USA) - USA - 2020 - 947,600 - No
11)Wertsila (Finland) - Finland, Norway, Sweden - 2019 - 998,900 - No
12)Spotify (UK) - UK - 2019, 954,600 - No
13)Venchi (Italy) - Italy - 2018 - 902,600 - No
14)Cantina Tollo (Italy) - Italy - 2020 - 898,500 - No
15)Truffaut (France) - France - 2018, 993,800 - No
16)Torku Seker (Turkey) - Turkey - 2020 - 961,200 - No
17)Atea (Norway) - Norway, Sweden - 2018 - 979,600 - No
18)Karchen (Germany) - Germany - 2021 - 902,100 - No
19)Northwave (Italy) - Italy - 2020 - 999,600 - No
20)UniCredit (Italy) - Italy, Austria, Germany - 2021 - 948,600 - No

As you can see, although 20 offers have come in, I've only been considering two of them as against the extension. At the end of the day, the extension makes more sense as otherwise there would be a need for a massive overhaul in the team, something I'm not very keen on doing.

I'd like to know your opinions on this. It would take a very strong reason and logic for me to not extend with Movistar, given the options.
I think I would hang on to Movistar - If not so Bancolombia
Tamijo wrote:
I think I would hang on to Movistar - If not so Bancolombia

Noted Smile
More offers came in even after my last post, including ones from Caisse d'Epargne, Lufthansa and even Lamborghini!

But, Movistar it is for us going forward. Contract extended for 3 years.
Nice to see the team sticking with Movistar, which is probably the best decision given the high amount of Spanish riders. Smile

"What done is, is one." - Benji Naesen
Made most sense Smile
Nice, why fix it, it seems to work fine Smile

Stage List
ITT - 2
Flat - 3
Mountain/Hilly - 4

Movistar Starting List
Nairo Quintana
Leopold Konig
Dayer Quintana
Sam Bennett
Jose Herrada
Eros Capecchi
Winner Anacona
Giovanni Visconti

The sponsors demand, we need to deliver! Another Top 3 demand from the sponsors was met with Movistar sending a strong climbing team for this race. The majority of the course however was hilly and favoured some of the punchers in the field. We were putting all our money on the ability to hang on in good positions till before the last two stages, where it would favour them. Nairo and Konig were paired up again. Last time, Konig had got the better of Nairo in Romandie. Could Nairo reclaim bragging rights? Would the healthy team competition come in the way of their overall GC challenge? The rest of the favourites, the likes of Richie Porte, Dan Martin and Rui Costa would certainly be hoping to catch our leaders out. Not the best competition, I would have to say, but you never know in these sort of races.

Following is a summary of stages...

Stage 1 - Individual Time Trial - Flat - 9.3 km
Movistar did a fantastic job in the opening TT with four riders finishing in the Top 10. Tony Martin, a pre-stage favourite took the win while most leaders managed to keep the margin to a minimum.

Stage winner - Tony Martin
Movistar - Winner Anacona 4th, losing 6", Leopold Konig 6th, losing 7", Nairo Quintana 9th, losing 15", Jose Herrada 10th, losing 16", Movistar finished the stage on top of the team classifications
Other important results - Kwiatkowski 5th, losing 7", Porte 7th, losing 12", Rui Costa 11th, losing 17"

Stage 2 - Mountain with 4 major intermediate climbs
A tough early-race mountain stage saw the breakaway being caught in the final climb of the day. Movistar domestiques Dayer Quintana and Jose Herrada did a lot of the hard work keeping their leaders at pace with the others. At the end, there were no time gaps, but Pierre Rolland was the freshest and took home the stage win in the sprint.

Stage winner - Pierre Rolland
Movistar - Dayer Quintana took the lead in the Young Riders' classification
Other important results - All leaders finished in the lead group

Stage 3 - Hilly with 3 major intermediate climbs
This stage did not suit our leaders and it was again down to the pace-making of our domestiques that kept the lead group together. After the last climb of the day, Rui Costa used his superiority in small climbs to lead the sprint to the line and take the stage. All other leaders finished in the leading group.

Stage winner - Rui Costa
Movistar - Giovanni Visconti 3rd

Stage 4 - Flat
A flat stage saw the sprinters have a field day. Movistar were not able to make an effective sprint train. As such, Bennett was in a bad position when the final sprint started and failed to register a good finish.

Stage winner - John Degenkolb

Stage 5 - Flat with 4 minor intermediate
A mostly flat stage dotted with a number of small but mostly harmless climbs, allowing the sprinters once again to rule the roost. It was deja vu for Movistar in an almost identical goof-up with their sprint train as in the previous stage. Bennett's disappointing time in Switzerland continued.

Stage winner - John Degenkolb

Stage 6 - Hilly with 2 major and 1 minor intermediate climbs
The first maor breakaway of the race saw time gaps as high as eleven minutes at one stage. The peloton did well on a rocky stage to bring the breakaway back fully, and ensured that the stage ended in a bunch sprint. A rather surprising race winner emerged as Huub Duyn pulled off an upset victory. There were no time gaps among the leaders.

Stage winner - Huub Duyn

Here's a look at how close the time gaps were after stage 6...


Stage 7 - Individual Time Trial - Flat - 24.4 km
Another TT and this time it suited our leaders quite well. One of the pre-stage favourites, Tom Dumoulin put in the best ride to secure victory while Nairo and Konig did exceptionally well to beat more fancied time trialists. This stage set up the last two mountain top finish stages well for our leaders.

Stage winner - Tom Dumoulin
Movistar - Nairo 3rd, losing 20", Konig 5th, losing 33"
Other important results - Kwiatkowski 2nd, losing 8", Tony Martin 4th, losing 23", Porte 6th, losing 39", Costa 14th, losing 1'17", Dan Martin 15th, losing 1'18"

Stage 8 - Flat with mountain top finish, including 1 minor intermediate climb
Nine-tenths of this important stage was flat. The last ten percent was a steep-ish climb which had a third category peak halfway up, followed by an even steeper section to the top. It was surprise then that the breakaway survived given the flat nature of most of the race. It could well have been down to the peloton's fatigue after a hard week's racing. Movistar on their part, started cranking up the pace just as the pack reached the base of the climb to the finish. The top 4 riders heading into this stage were all dropped going uphill, allowing Nairo to assert himself on the leaders. He , however, chose not to attack too hard, finishing in the pack of the leaders, less than a minute down on eventual winner Majka, who was a part of the early breakaway.

Stage winner - Rafal Majka from breakaway
Movistar - Nairo 8th, 43" behind, Konig 21st, 2'1" behind
Other important results - Dan Martin 3rd, 35" behind, Sergio Henao 5th, Geraint Thomas 6th, Porte 7th, all 43" behind, Kwiatkowski 10th, 1'20" behind

A look at the table again after stage 8 redhuffle...


Less than 1 minute separated the top 6 with 1 stage to go!

Stage 9 - Mountain with mountain top finish, including 3 minor intermediate climbs
Another stage perfectly suited to Nairo's climbing abilities gave Nairo and Movistar the first win of this race and secured the respective classifications. A lot of the other favourites lost time to both Nairo and Konig, allowing the latter to climb up to third in the overall standings.


Stage winner - Nairo Quintana
Movistar - Konig 25th, 30" behind
Other important results - Dan Martin 2nd, Rafal Majka 3rd, both 15" behind, Sergio Henao 10th, 2'47" behind, Richie Porte 14th, 3'20 behind


Overall Standings
1)Nairo Quintana (Movista)
2)Dan Martin (Tinkoff-Saxo)
3)Leopold Konig (Movistar)

Mountain Classification
1)Kevin Ledanois (FDJ)
2)Jeremy Roy (BMC)
3)Tom Slagter (Canondale- Garmin)

Points Classification
1)Michal Kwiatkowski (Europcar)
2)Dan Martin (Tinkoff-Saxo)
3)John Degenkolb (Giant-Alpecin)

Young Riders Classification
1)Adam Yates (Tinkoff-Saxo)
2)Dayer Quintana (Movistar) - less than a second behind!
3)Julian Alaphilippe (Canondale-Garmin)

Team Classification

Another race where Nairo shows his superiority. The team is making it a habit of winning most of the team classifications, and I'm loving this. Dayer Quintana is also emerging as a bright spark, and is starting to dominate the young rider standings in most races he participates in. The future looks bright for him as he looks to follow in his esteemed brother's footsteps. Sprinting is the only worry, as has been the case for some time now, heading into this year's TDF. Sam Bennett has not been able to deliver results with any consistency whatsoever. Might be time to look elsewhere to realise the dream of a Movistar team member wearing green at the TDF podium. He might turn around and surprise me at the upcoming TDF, but he doesn't look like someone who will deliver the goods over three weeks. I'd have to say the preparations have been almost ideal for the second GT of the year. But before that, the riders go away to ride in the respective National Championship races. Another sponsor objective coming up there.
Edited by AbhishekLFC on 18-11-2015 05:22
Nice safe win, seems to have been relative easy for the team to dominate this race
1st and 3rd. Grin Great result, really looking forward to see how Nairo's form goes in the tour. Smile

"What done is, is one." - Benji Naesen
Tamijo wrote:
Nice safe win, seems to have been relative easy for the team to dominate this race

Yes Nairo rode well within himself and still managed to win. Should keep him nice and fresh for the Tour.

trekbmc wrote:
1st and 3rd. Grin Great result, really looking forward to see how Nairo's form goes in the tour. Smile

Nairo and Konig both going to the Tour. It's good for the team that they seem to be working well together, first at Romandie, now here.

The Tour will see Nairo and Landa up against Froome, Nibali, Kelderman, Uran and most other leaders. The only big name absentee is Aru, with Frank chosen to lead Astana instead. Should be a close fought race. There is, however, the prospect of another long TT coming up in one of the latter stages. Plays right into Froome's hands that Frown
Updates from a couple of races in the past week...

Rut du Sud


Tour de Slovenie

Not bad 3rd and 5th in Route de Sud. Smile

Looking forward to the tour de France. Grin

"What done is, is one." - Benji Naesen
trekbmc wrote:
Looking forward to the tour de France. Grin

Well, my friend trekbmc, you will have to wait a little bit longer! A round-up of the National Championships is first...

Spanish National Championship - Individual Time Trial


Spanish National Championship - Road Race


Some other noteworthy results of importance to Movistar:

Individual Time Trial

Czech Republic - Roman Kreuziger 8th
Italy - Adriano Malori 4th
Germany - Jasha Sutterlin 5th
GBR - Alex Dowsett 3rd

Road Race

Ukraine - Eduard Korniets 10th
Czech Republic - Roman Kreuziger 9th, Leopold Konig 10th
Italy - Giovani Visconti 9th
Ireland - Sam Bennett 1st

What can I tell you, we swept it this time Banana

In the absence of Contador, the domination in the ITT was even more complete, with six Movistar riders in the top seven! Benat Intxausti showcased his much improved self once again, and won the ITT with a comprehensive margin. The only other rider in the top seven - Javier Moreno, who finished third - is also an ex Movistar rider. Just goes to show the kind of domination the team has established in Spain.

Last year, it was new boy Luis Leon Sanchez who rode to victory in the Spanish NC Road Race. This time, it was another new boy Mikel Landa clinching it. We'll see him get to ride the TDF wearing the Spanish colours proudly on his back. A second place for Intxausti here too.

Another rider we'll see ride the TDF in his nation's colours for us is Sam Bennett, who claimed victory in the Irish NC Road Race.

Finally it's time for the Tour up next...
Good luck

Stage List
ITT - 3
Flat - 8
Mountain/Hill - 10

Movistar Starting List
Nairo Quintana
Mikel Landa
Leopold Konig
Sam Bennett
J J Lobato
Alex Dowsett
Jose Herrada
Dayer Quintana
Ion Izagirre

Number of Starters - 198
Number of Finishers - 175

The second GT of the year comes rolling along with Movistar looking as good as they did before the Giro. The leaders are in good form and the management picked a strong team to challenge on all fronts. After the disappointment of the Tour last year, with Nairo falling off the cliff at just the wrong moment, this year he was fresh and up for the challenge to try to win the first Tour de France of his career. Mikel Landa was picked as the co-leader with Leopold Konig chosen to handle super domestique duties. On the sprinting front, the two best sprinters for Movistar would be putting their skills up to the test against the best sprinters in the world. Alex Dowsett, having not had the best of schedules so far this season, was rewarded for his patience with the job of leading the TT responsibilities for us. The opposition would be fierce; one glance at the start list would give you an indication of the same. Starting with Chris Froome and Richie Porte (Sky), the likes of Wilco Kelderman, Dan Martin and Ilnur Zakarin (all Tinkoff-Saxo), Mathias Frank (Astana), Vicenzo Nibali (Aeroflot), Rigoberto Uran and Sergio Henao(Ag2R), T J van Garderen (Philips) and Carlos Betancur (Trek Factory) were all in competition for the top prize. Ultimately, the fans were looking forward to a battle between Froome and Nairo on the big climbs in the second and third week of the Tour. The second last stage is a 44 km long ITT, which would hand the advantage to Froome, similar to the one in the Giro. The task for us was very simple, build up enough of a lead going into that ITT stage, so that even a bad day in the saddle wont see us fall behind. But it is never quite that simple, is it?!

Part 1: Starting Strong (Stage 1-9)

Following is a summary of important stages...

Stage 1 - Individual Time Trial - Flat - 6.4 km
The ITT saw some surprising results as Geraint Thomas picked up the win for Ag2R. Given its short distance, the time gaps were not significant with Nairo Quintana losing only 29" despite finishing in 67th place!

Stage winner - Geraint Thomas (Ag2R)
Movistar - Ion Izagirre 13th, losing 14", Leopold Konig 20th, losing 16", Nairo Quintana 67th, losing 29"
Other important results - van Garderen lost 6", Froome lost 7", Frank lost 20", Porte lost 21", Kelderman lost 24", Uran lost 25", Nibali lost 30", Dan Martin lost 39"

Stage 4 - Flat
It was the battle of two National Champions at the sprint finish in stage tailor made for the sprinters. Peter Sagan and Sam Bennett went toe to toe, with the former just taking the win, centimetres ahead of the latter. It was a good sprinting performance from Bennett, given his bad form throughout the year.

Take a look at how close the finish was...


Stage winner - Peter Sagan
Movistar - Bennett 2nd, Lobato 6th

Stage 6 - Hilly with 1 major and 4 minor intermediate climbs
The first stage where the leaders had the opportunity to spread their legs. Movistar maintained a high pace througout the early climbs to not allow the other leaders to attack. About a kilometre before the top of the last climb, Nairo made his move and caught the rest of the pack unaware. He managed to eke out a few seconds, pushing himself into the top 10 of the overall standings. Only Serio Henao put in an effort to catch him coming up to the line, himself shaving off a few seconds from the others.


Stage winner - Nairo Quintana
Movistar - Konig 7th, Ion 8th, 16" behind in pack
Other important results - Sergio Henao 2nd, 8" behind, all other leaders finished in the pack 16" behind

Stage 8 - Mountain with 6 major intermediate climbs
A tremendously difficult stage saw riders falling off the back of the peloton from the very first climb itself. Movistar again took charge at the front of the race, keeping the leaders together and pulling back some small attacks. They finally allowed an attack to get away at the foot of the last climb, after ensuring that Nairo was strong enough to follow it. Konig and Landa fell into the chasing group containing Froome and a few others. Nairo, on his part tore up the second half of the mountain, taking more than a minute off the other four attackers and even more off Froome at the finish.


Stage winner - Nairo Quintana, took the Yellow jersey
Movistar - Mikel Landa 13th, Leopold Konig 14th, 2'24" behind
Other important results - Mollema 2nd, Zakarin 3rd, Uran 4th, Betancur 5th, all 1'14" behind, van Garderen 8th, Frank 9th, Froome 12th, all 2'34" behind

Stage 9 - Mountain with mountain top finish, including 2 major intermediate climbs
After surpringly falling a long way behind in the overall classifications in the previous stages, Diego Ulissi put himself into the day's breakaway and hung on for the win by quite some margin over the leaders. This however was still inconsequential as far as the GC was concerned. The real fight was taking place behind the breakaway. Surprisingly, again, Bauke Mollema had the strongest legs among the leaders and took time off Quintana and Zakarin at the finish. Froome was having another bad day, losing another minute to the leaders. His superhuman effort in the Giro were perhaps catching up to him now, and it was looking less and less likely that he would be able to challenge Nairo in the coming stages.

Stage winner - Diego Ulissi
Movistar - Nairo 8th, 5'46" behind, Landa and Konig both 8'16"
Other important results - Mollema 7th, 5'38" behind, Ilnur Zakarin 9th, 5' 46" behind, Froome, Uran, Betancur, Frank, Meintjes, all 6'26" behind, van Garderen 8'16" behind

Let's take a look at the GC after stage 9...


To be continued...
Edited by AbhishekLFC on 24-11-2015 16:38
Looking very good so far pcmdaily.com/images/smiley/pfft.gif
Really great work from Nairo Grin He's riding really well. Grin

"What done is, is one." - Benji Naesen
Tamijo wrote:
Looking very good so far pcmdaily.com/images/smiley/pfft.gif

trekbmc wrote:Really great work from Nairo Grin He's riding really well. Grin

A very good start. Still some way to go with two TTs coming up later. So far so good...

Part 2: Stretching our Legs (Stage 11-15)

Following is a summary of important stages...

Stage 11 - Individual Time Trial - Uphill - 38 km
Before reporting on this stage, it would be worth mentioning that Biel Kadri won from a breakaway on the previous low difficulty stage. Now why this was important is because Kadri is French, and stage 10 was held on 14th July - Bastille Day!

Coming to stage 11, this stage would be of massive importance to the GC going forward. The profile was a long hard battle up a slope for almost two-thirds of the way. This uphill run would even out the advantage somewhat, giving Nairo a chance to get one over on Froome. All Movistar riders did really well, starting with Dowsett, who put in a time 2 minutes better than those who had finished before him. This time would fall once the superior climbers started finishing the stage. As it would turn out, the GC leaders were the ones who put in the best times. The point to be noted is that Nairo put in a screamer of a run. Leaving eveyone in his wake, even overtaking Zakarin - who finished second in the stage - on the road, he finished exactly three minutes clear of second place. He had definitely laid the foundation for the overall win. The time gap, as it stood now, should be enough to keep ahead of his main rival Froome after the next ITT. There is still a week of climbing mountains to go, but he should have good legs to get up those. Movistar had a great day out with Konig and Landa finishing third and fifth respectively, taking the team's lead in the classification to over fourteen minutes.

Stage winner - Nairo Quintana
Movistar - Konig 3rd, losing 3'9", Landa 5th, losing 3'27"
Other important results - Zakarin 2nd, losing 3', Froome 4th, losing 3'21", Uran 6th, losing 3'30", Mollema 8th, losing 4'48", Betancur 9th, losing 4'51"

A look at the damage done by Nairo...


Stage 13 - Mountian with mountain top finish, including 4 major and 1 minor climbs
Another tough stage saw the peloton not allowing the early breakaway to get a very big lead, catching them before the last climb of the day. Ilnur Zakarin pulled off a great attack on the last climb, catching the other leaders unawares. The in-fighting among the leaders meant that no chase group could form, and they went up the mountain in singles and pairs. This further played into the hands of Zakarin as he took his first stage of the GT. Nairo lost about a minute but still had a comfortable cushion going forward.

Stage winner - Ilnur Zakarin
Movistar - Nairo 2nd, 1'6" behind, Landa 6th, 2'31" behind, Konig 11th, 4'42"
Other important results - Uran 4th, 1'34" behind, Froome 7th, 2'31" behind, Mollema 8th, 3'16" behind, Nibali 9th, 4'31" behind

Stage 14 - Mountain with mountain top finish, including 4 major and 1 minor climbs
A similar stage to the last one, but quite a different result. A very popular winner emerged out of a huge breakaway which the peloton did not bother to chase. The leaders were busy fighting their own battles behind the breakaway but everyone more or less finished together. Only Konig and Mollema lost some time. Ion Izagirre had put himself into the breakaway and picked up some KOM points along the way, finishing third.

Stage winner - Tony Martin
Movistar - Ion Izagirre 3rd, 4'47" behind, Nairo 7th, Landa 10th, 15'47" behind, Konig 16'21" behind
Other important results - Zakarin, Uran and Froome finished in Nairo's group, Mollema finished in Konig's group

Stage 15 - Mountain with 5 major intermediate climbs
Another fiddicult stage which saw the leaders slug it out at the downhill finish. Ilnur Zakarin got the better of Nairo again in the final sprint but did not gain any time. There were time gaps created as some leaders, including Landa and Konig, lost time and fell further behind.

Stage winner - Ilnur Zakarin
Movistar - Nairo 2nd, same time, Landa 9th, 3'31" behind, Konig 12th, 4'47" behind
Other important results - Uran 3rd, Majka 4th, Betancur 5th, same time, Froome 7th, 59" behind

To be continued...
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