CROSS­ROADS

Procycling - - MOVISTAR MISFIRE -

Next year is likely to be a de in­ing sea­son in the Mo­vis­tar team’s long story. Its three lead­ers’ con­tracts are up for re­newal at the end of the sea­son, as is the spon­sor­ship of the telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions com­pany, Mo­vis­tar. The team’s o icials are op­ti­mistic about the re­newal of the lat­ter: the con­tracts of rid­ers such as Soler have been ex­tended into 2020. The ex­pec­ta­tion is Mo­vis­tar will sign a three-year deal. While Landa and Quin­tana re­main hope­ful of a Tour bid next sea­son, Valverde has ex­cused him­self and has stated he wants to race the Giro and Vuelta. He wants to con­tinue to the 2020 sea­son and the Tokyo Olympics be­fore re­tir­ing. What roles the up-and­com­ing Soler and Cara­paz will play in this grand plan re­main an enigma. There is an op­por­tu­nity to re­build the team for the next spon­sor­ship cy­cle, which will take the 1980’s- es­tab­lished squad into the ifth decade of its ex­is­tence. Sev­eral ros­ter changes are ex­pected, as is the re­cruit­ment of more sta f: only one of the six di­recteur sportifs has been on a pro team other than Mo­vis­tar or one of its pre­vi­ous in­car­na­tions.

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