Departing Movistar sports director José Arrieta said to be considering legal action against team

The Spaniard was a star of the squad's Netflix series

Movistar
(Image credit: Getty)

Movistar sports director José Luis Arrieta is considering taking legal action against the team as he departs the Spanish squad at the end of this season.

This is according to Spanish newspaper AS, the issue said to stem from problems that saw the head of performance Patxi Vila take over race-directing duties from Arrieta, the latter's role within the structure subsequently reduced and now non-existent.

Arrieta is said to have been "separated" from directing the team at the Vuelta a España, something that has happened before at races, leaving the task in the hands of Vila.

The arrival of Vila as head of performance is said to have diminished Arrieta's role within the team, with disputes in the 2020 season further reducing Arrieta's seniority within Movistar.

This has eventually led to Arrieta's departure from the team at the end of this year, and Vila will add the technical role of directing the team to his performance duties. Meanwhile, Arrieta is apparently considering legal action against his former employers.

>>> Miguel Ángel López returns to Astana following turbulent year with Movistar

One incident that hinted at the fractious environment behind the scenes was captured in season two of the Netflix documentary. The team wiped the GoPro cameras placed inside the team car after riders in the Vuelta were rude to Arrieta, which was "the catalyst that then set Arri off" and Movistar not wanting this particular instance of drama out in the open.

This fallout with Arrieta adds to a stormy end of the season for Movistar who saw Miguel Ángel López leave the team after his abandonment of the Vuelta a España on the penultimate stage, with Vila directing the squad on the road at that time.

There's hardly ever a dull day for the beleaguered Spanish outfit, but cycling fans will be dismayed that uncertainty rages over whether the Netflix documentary series will return for a third installment. 

While it has proved a hit, offering a warts and all view inside the chaotic team, enarmouring fans with their openness amidst the sea of polished sports documentaries currently hitting streaming services, Movistar top brass worry it hasn't shown their organisation in the best light.

Jonny Long

Hi. I'm Cycling Weekly's Weekend Editor. I like writing offbeat features and eating too much bread when working out on the road at bike races.


Before joining Cycling Weekly I worked at The Tab and I've also written for Vice, Time Out, and worked freelance for The Telegraph (I know, but I needed the money at the time so let me live).


I also worked for ITV Cycling between 2011-2018 on their Tour de France and Vuelta a España coverage. Sometimes I'd be helping the producers make the programme and other times I'd be getting the lunches. Just in case you were wondering - Phil Liggett and Paul Sherwen had the same ham sandwich every day, it was great.