Chris Froome and Movistar; Reality or fiction? - The Broker's Bag
Just a week ago the world of cycling was reeling after learning that Chris Froome could leave the Ineos team mid-season.
Although for the moment everything seems to be left in a tumultuous rumor, it would not be surprising that in 2021 we could see the quadruple Tour de France champion clad in another jersey. The Briton ends his contract this season and less than 6 months before the contractual relationship ends, it seems that the cyclist and the team are very far from reaching a new agreement.
The relationship between Brailsford and Froome seems to have cooled down. Not so much for a personal matter but rather the result of the latest circumstances that have affected the entire team and especially the tall English runner.
A accumulation of sporting, economic and personal circumstances which seem to greatly complicate the continuity of Froome in the most powerful structure in the world.
An accumulation of events in the last 10 months that leave the Real possibility that Movistar Team ends up signing Chris Froome.
Beyond what may happen on a personal level (something that I am totally unaware of), everything seems to fit economically and sports.
"An accumulation of sporting, commercial and personal events in the last 10 months that leave the real possibility that Movistar ends up signing Chris Froome"
We recently learned that telephone company 02 merged with Virgin Media to create the largest telecommunications network in the UK.
What does all this have to do with Froome, Movistar and cycling?
Company 02 is owned by Telefonica and telefonica is Movistar. In fact, the current Movistar jersey already has 02 advertising incorporated into the sleeve of the jersey.
Cycling is still a business and brand strategy for team sponsoring companies and Chris Froome is a true “caramelite” in the British market.
In addition, he is a guy who, as a result of his great involvement practically every year in the Tour of Spain, falls great on mainland Spain. It seems clear that at the corporate and brand level we find the first point in favor.
As for salary we find another interesting point. Movistar faces this 2020 his first season without Nairo Quintana. The Colombian was heading to the Arkea Samsic to seek a change of scenery. All this, together with the departure of Mikel Landa, left a large salary mass with no apparent owner.
Nairo Quitana made available about 2.5 million euros a year to the telephone structure. It is true that Chris Froome is the second highest paid cyclist today and that with his 4.5 million salary at Ineos, he practically doubles the figure of the Colombian.
This is where beyond the economic effort that I have no doubt that Movistar could do (after charging 6,300 million euros with the merger) comes the sports interest.
Froome has just turned 35 and is very clear that he is before his last hits as a professional cyclist. It remains to be seen how he recovers from the tremendous injury he suffered last year, but if he is able to return to the highest level it is evident that his main and The only objective is to get the fifth crown in Paris.
Chris has eye to eye to match Indurain, Merckx, Hinault and Anquetil and join the select club of cyclists with 5 Tours de France.
An objective that fully coincides with that of Movistar. A team that was devised, although officially never recognized as such, to win the most important race in the world. The victories in the Giro d'Italia, Vuelta a España and great classics are very nice, but Unzué and his family have spent years wishing to recover the great yellow throne that Indurain stopped occupying in 1995. In addition the death of Nicolas Portal, director of Ineos and a great friend of Chris Froome, has further distanced the cyclist's relationship with the team
It should be remembered that Movsitar was already close to signing Chris Froome when the British was not the shadow of what he is today. It was in 2011 just before he would dazzle the world in a Tour of Spain in which he finished second behind Juanjo Cobo.
"Victories in the Giro d'Italia, Vuelta a España and great classics are very nice, but Unzué and his family have been wishing for years to recover the great yellow throne that Indurain stopped occupying in 1995"
At the sporting level, things get even more expensive when we consider that Egan Bernal has clearly stated his intention to lead the team in the French round. Something that by the way, I understand perfectly at the mercy of its great quality. Brailsford is not to "give away" a Tour, subjecting the options of the Colombian and Geraint Thomas so that Froome can get the dream handyman. Things that happen when you put several roosters together in the same chicken coop.
Movistar has made a clear commitment to the future with the youth of Enric Mas and Marc Soler, but the two Spaniards still seem very far from being able to face a challenge of this magnitude with guarantees.
Froome would be an excellent mentor, would put pressure on young people, and would be the ideal bridge between past, present and future.
In addition, Froome has won all 4 Tours with the support of a great team. Teams like UAE are likely to be able to afford a better payroll, but they have neither such a structured team nor runners willing to sacrifice as gregarious.
Froome, Valverde, Soler, Mas, Erviti, Rojas, Cataldo and Oliveria. Nice 8th gala for the Tour, right?
In my particular game of chess everything seems to fit. Will Unzué and his team move?