ANALYSIS: Examining Movistar Team's struggles as injuries, badly put together racing calendar and no development team threaten relegation

After the spring classics, Movistar Team has seen its comfortable position in the UCI classification made considerably more uncomfortable.

As shown by Juan Larra of, two results more than any cause concern for the Spanish team, Luca Mozzato's second place for Arkéa - B&B Hotels in the Tour of Flanders and Romain Bardet's second place for Team DSM-Firmenich PostNL at Liege-Bastogne-Liege. In one fell swoop, more than 600 points for the rivals as Movistar saw comparatively little in return. Everything is going badly, and the worst thing is that the short-term future is complicated. Movistar is currently the 18th ranked WorldTour team of the season. The 17th, DSM, is almost 800 points ahead after yesterday in Liege and, behind them, Cofidis is getting closer and closer and seems to be starting to wake up after a rather bad start. Uno-X Mobility is not far behind and Astana Qazaqstan Team, with Mark Cavendish back and Alexey Lutsenko reborn, it is not out of the question that it will start to work a little better.


One of the reasons given to explain why teams like Arkéa or DSM are scoring more points than Movistar Team is that the Spanish-based outfit participate in far fewer races, which logically allows them to fight for fewer points.

For proof, in data from @MovistarTakes, Cofidis and Arkéa will participate in 20 races between the Tour de Romandie and the Tour de France, DSM in 15 although Movistar are currently planning to race only 8. That's a lot of difference, even more considering that many of them are on the French and Belgian calendars, where the aforementioned teams are likely to score. Chente García Acosta, the main sports director of the Navarre squad, justified in Relevo the bad season by the following: injuries and "a team that always suffers in March and April";

These injuries, according to Chente, would have meant that they would have had to "fill gaps in the line-up". We don't know if these gaps will be those of Iván García Cortina in Catalunya before facing Flanders and Roubaix or that of a Lazkano who was exhausted in the Ardennes. Or now Aranburu in a Romandie that doesn't suit his characteristics at all.


In 2024 you can't use the excuse of a short roster when almost all the WorldTour has development teams to be able to extend their calendars, secure their talents for the future and use them in case of injury.

Movistar is one of the only 3 WorldTour without a development team: Cofidis doesn't have one either and is even worse off than Movistar in 2024, the other is INEOS which has gone from being the best around to being a noticeable step behind the likes of UAE Team Emirates and Team Visma | Lease a Bike.


Regarding Chente's other explanation, that "the team suffers in March and April", it must be said that looking at the calendars it is unlikely that they will not also suffer in May and June. At the Giro d'Italia they will arrive with a Nairo Quintana who is completely out of shape, and with an Einer Rubio who will not have an easy time being top 10 with the competition there is.

Thus, it seems that they are betting everything on Enric Mas' card in the Tour de France, the Vuelta a España and the Italian classics at the end of the year. We also imagine that they plan to enjoy a good Alex Aranburu who scored a lot and well in the classics at the end of the season last year. However, it's worth noting that Mas hasn't done too well in the Tour in the past and it doesn't seem to make much sense to put so much pressure on him. In any case, the team needs the Mallorcan.

As we said at the beginning of the article, the situation has become uncomfortable. Movistar are not terminally ill or anything like that, but it is time to start acquiring healthier habits so as not to end up in the hospital.

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