Cycling Team Movistar History
Movistar Team is a professional road bicycle racing team which participates in the UCI ProTour and has achieved thirteen general classification victories in Grand Tours. The title sponsor is the Spanish mobile telephone company Telefónica, with the team riding under the name of the company’s brand Movistar.
The team was formed as Reynolds, led by Ángel Arroyo and later by Pedro Delgado, who won a Tour de France and a Vuelta a España, and was subsequently sponsored by Banesto, under which title the team included 5-time Tour de France winner Miguel Indurain and Alex Zülle, twice winner of the Vuelta a España.
The team offices are in Egüés, a municipality of Navarre, Spain, in the metropolitan area of Pamplona. A later sponsor was Caisse d’Epargne, a French semi-cooperative banking group.
Having previously used Pinarello bikes, the team rode Canyon frames in 2014, with Campagnolo parts.
Since 2008 Eusebio Unzué has been the manager of the team after the long running manager, José Miguel Echavarri, retired from the sport. Directeurs sportifs of the team include Neil Stephens, Alfonso Galilea and José Luis Jaimerena.
The team began in 1980 as the Reynolds team which José Miguel Echavarri as the directeur sportif. In 1982 signed a young Pedro Delgado who acted as a domestique for team leader Ángel Arroyo during the 1982 Vuelta a España.
Arroyo won the Vuelta after his team controlled the race after he took the lead. But 48 hours after his Vuelta win, the results of a positive test were made known for Methylphenidate (Ritalin). Arroyo and the Reynolds team denied that Arroyo doped and asked for a B-analysis that confirmed the positive A-sample. Arroyo became the first winner of the Vuelta a España to be disqualified.[
Delgado changed teams in 1985 but returned to Reynolds in 1988 where he won the 1988 Tour de France and then the 1989 Vuelta a España with the team. In 1984, Miguel Indurain made his professional debut with the team.
In 1990 Spanish bank, Banesto took over as the main sponsor of the team from Reynolds. Delgado was the team leader for the Tour de France while Miguel Indurain and Julián Gorospe were the leaders for the weeklong stage races.
When Gorospe took the lead in that year’s Vuelta, the team went behind him in a bid to win the race. However Gorospe lost the leader’s jersey and Delgado took over the leadership but could not regain the time that Italian Marco Giovannetti had gained and ended the race second overall behind Giovannetti. Over the following years, Indurain rose to become a dominator of stage races winning five editions of the Tour de France and two editions of the Giro d’Italia.
Delgado was the team leader for the Vuelta. The team also achieved success with Jean-François Bernard who won the 1992 edition of Paris–Nice with the team. The team won the Vuelta again in 1998 with Abraham Olano.
During this time Alex Zülle joined the team and finished the 1999 Tour de France second overall while legendary climber José María Jiménez performed in the Vuelta a España. The team became known as iBanesto.com in the final years of the sponsorship of the Banesto bank.
Illes Balears (2004–2005)
In 2004 Illes Balears, the Balearic Island’s Tourism Board, became the team’s principal sponsor, the team’s name was Illes Balears-Banesto until 2005.
Caisse d’Epargne took over from Banesto as the second sponsor in the 2005 season, the team was then known as Illes Balears-Caisse d’Epargne. Caisse d’Epargne then became the main sponsor in 2006 reversing the title sponsor ordering with the name, Caisse d’Epargne-Illes Balears.
The team fielded a number of strong contenders in the 2005 Tour de France including Francisco Mancebo (former National Champion of Spain), Alejandro Valverde, Vladimir Karpets and sprinter Isaac Gálvez. Mancebo produced the best results finishing fourth overall in the General Classification.
Caisse d’Epargne (2006–2010)
Caisse d’Epargne-Illes Balears finished fifth overall (56 minutes, 53 seconds behind Team T-Mobile) in the Team Classification at the 2006 Tour de France. Individually, the team’s top rider, Óscar Pereiro, finished in second place.
The Tour victory of Phonak rider Floyd Landis was almost immediately called into question, after a urine sample taken after his Stage 17 win twice tested positive for banned synthetic testosterone as well as a ratio of testosterone to epitestosterone nearly three times the limit allowed by World Anti-Doping Agency rules.
After hearing of the positive “A” test, Pereiro stated that it was only an initial, unconfirmed result and he would not yet consider Landis guilty or himself the Tour winner. “I have too much respect for Landis to do otherwise”, he said.
After hearing that the Landis “B” test also came back positive, Pereiro stated that he now considers himself Tour champion and the Landis scandal should not diminish his own achievement. “Right now I feel like the winner of the Tour de France”, Pereiro said. “It’s a victory for the whole team.” After nearly two years of appeals, Pereiro was officially upgraded to Tour champion for 2006.
Movistar (2011– The Story Continues)