A number of teams have sleep-walked into a WorldTour relegation battle this season, but the gloves are off now as teams chase every possible UCI ranking point.
Movistar have recently been dragged into the mire after a poor spring campaign and their boss is not happy about it.
“It’s madness,” Eusebio Unzué, who has been involved with the team throughout its 42-year history, told Cyclingnews at the Critérium du Dauphiné.
Unzué has just had to phone up his old talisman, Alejandro Valverde , and politely ask if he wouldn’t mind adding the Ventoux Challenge and Route d’Occitanie to his programme next week. Valverde is 42 years old, retiring at the end of the season, and supposed to be enjoying his swansong after 18 years of service to the Spanish team. Instead even Valverde has to chase points.
“It does serve a purpose, he also has the Spanish championships coming up…" Unzué suggests, but he can’t keep up the pretence for long.
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“But logically, at the same time…” he adds, trailing off. “We’re going there to race with him like we always do, to win, but at the same time we’re trying to score points, obviously.”Valverde might have imagined his final season a little differently. He might have felt he’d earned the right […]