Nairo Quintana and the real problem of Movistar Team
A Chronicle of a Death Foretold. There is no better headline to summarize the Tour de France of Movistar Team than this beautiful novel by Gabriel García Márquez.
The Colombian writer could hardly imagine that years later the title of his work would serve to give voice to a feeling of generalized frustration and to illustrate one of the biggest sporting disappointments in the history of the coffee country.
Everyone can have a bad day, a bad week or a bad year but Nairo Quintana and Movistar Team is not a flower of a day.
The Spanish team is collecting everything that has been planted in recent years and in my opinion the management of the telephone set should feel quite responsible for it.
We have been waiting for years for the definitive irruption of Nairo Quintana. A runner who with 23 years dazzled everyone and that many placed as the great dominator of cycling in view of the coming years.
The quality of Nairo was and remains undoubted. A cyclist with unbeatable physical conditions for climbing but with obvious features of egocentricity that have slowed down their progression and that of their team.
The experience of this Tour de France is being the icing on the cake. A real nonsense organizational and sporting that highlights the tense relationship between the Colombian and the rest of the team. A relationship that has bottomed out after the signing of Nairo by Arkea Samsic will be filtered.
The atmosphere within the team is not good and I am afraid that Eusebio Unzué will be lamenting having placed so much confidence in a runner who limits himself to running for money and for his own interest.
Personally I have always thought that the great tactical failure of Movistar is to run with two leaders. In the first years were Alejandro Valverde and Nairo Quintana but the signing of Mikel Landa has only complicated the management of the team. The Tour de France arrives and although every year it seems that Movistar comes more prepared than ever, history repeats itself.
Time trial for equipment, fans, pavés or falls. For whatever reason, Movistar and its leaders always arrive at the second week of the race with lost time. Without going further I find it shameful that a team that goes to the gala round with the ambition of winning the general classification finishes a team time trial in the 17th position of 22.
This type of mistakes are paid very expensive in the best race in the world and for this reason Movistar Team is forced to restructure their career on the fly.
All for the yellow. This is the mission of the team that every year is given a song in the teeth. Failure after failure. Disappointment after disappointment. An excess of ambition and greed that only serves to accumulate tension and haste in the third week of the race.
Probably everything would be different if Movistar ran with a more offensive attitude and with more cheek just like other teams do. Jumbo-Visma, Mitchelton-Scott or Astana are the clear example that you can play the general without neglecting the show or partial triumphs.
To realize the current situation is enough to remember part of the refrain of the last song that represented Spain in Eurovision. "You sell because you have left, you lose because there is a way. I tell you: there are other things. The banda has already fallen and new days will begin. "
In these new days the Movistar team must focus its efforts. The bandage that led the team's direction and Nairo Quintana himself finally fell. The #youngestream is history at least as far as the Movistar-Quintana campaign is concerned. Nairo will not win the Tour with the Spanish team and I doubt very much that he will be able to do it in the Arkea, a team built with a checkbook.
Movistar will face the following season as a year of important changes. If the signing of Enric is finally confirmed, I hope and wish that Unzué and the whole team have taken note of the mistakes and that they are therefore able to clothe a great leader as he deserves.
But before starting a new chapter of the book we have to finish with this one. There are 6 stages left. 6 days of hard fight in which I wish to see Movistar more offensive. The team delivered in body and soul that gave a real recital way of Foix and that does not wrinkle before anyone.
One last week that Unzué should take advantage of to wash the image of the team. The lack of communication in the climb to the Tourmalet and the null companionship of Quintana in the last high end they are not a dish of good taste neither for fans of this sport nor for the brand image of a sponsor such as Movistar.
I would not miss anything that with the relationship so degraded Movistar will look for some "excuse" to leave home Nairo Quintana in the next Tour of Spain. If many fans of this sport are outraged, I do not want to imagine what would happen to Alejandro Valverde who, with 20 years of professional career, had never experienced such controversies. The Bala is always correct in his statements but I am afraid that the Murcian did not even the slightest grace superb attitude of Nairo in these last days.
Movistar must turn the page and Colombia begin to wake up realizing that the only yellow dream is that of Egan Bernal.