Having been around in some guise since 1980, the Spanish super-team have seen it all, from 13 Grand Tour wins to their fair share of doping scandals.
They got off to a slow start under Movistar sponsorship in 2011, but welcomed back Alejandro Valverde from his two-year suspension and signed young GC prospect Nairo Quintana in 2012 — and they haven’t looked back since.
Moreover, they’d assembled a talented squad with riders who might be in contention for leadership in smaller teams, including the likes of Andrey Amador, as well as versatile sprinter Juan José Lobato and several time trial specialists in Jonathan Castroviejo, Adriano Malori and Britain’s Alex Dowsett.
He eventually finished third behind Froome and Romain Bardet (Ag2r), but can take heart from the fact he beat the former when they met several weeks later at the final Grand Tour of the year, the Vuelta a España, his second career Grand Tour win.
Their veteran stalwart Valverde maintained his incredible consistency again in 2016, riding all three Grand Tours (taking two top-10s in the Giro and the Tour) as well as adding another victory in La Flèche Wallonne to his palmarès.
Valverde also has an excellent palmares in the one day races. He has won Liége-Bastogne-Liége four time, La Fléche Wallonne a staggering five times and taken 12 Vuelta stage wins and 4 stages at the TdF. And of course this was then rounded off by winning the World Championships in 2018.
Movistar will also look to hold on to it’s number one team spot in the UCI WorldTour rankings, a prize they have now won in four consecutive seasons.
Is had been several seasons since the Movistar team have taken the top spot of a grand tour. Many critics question their three pronged approach and somewhat curious tactics. However, in 2019 Richard Carapaz took the overall at the Giro d’Italia, the first Ecuadorian to take that title.
But the future is uncertain for Movistar, after Mikel Landa and Nairo Quintana both left the team at the end of 2019, along with Richard Carapaz and Andrey Amador, leaving Valverde as the only star rider on the squad for 2020.