Lourdes Oyarbide and Alicia Gonzalez will be staying with Movistar for the next year, and Sheyla Gutierrez and Barbara Guarischi have extended their contracts to the end of 2023.
Gonzalez and Oyarbide were founding members of Movistar’s women’s squad in 2018. Sebastian Unzue said that, having been there since the beginning, they were “becoming more important every single year. Their racecraft has evolved, their physical performance has increased and they’re extremely reliable. Wherever they go, they’re always ready to help our leaders, and having committed riders like them with us is a huge advantage.”
Both Gonzalez and Oyarbide emphasized the importance of the longevity of their attachment to the team. Oyarbide said, “This project is growing so fast, year after year, and I think I’m able to follow those footsteps as an individual. That’s why I want to to thank them for the preserved confidence in me after these three years.” Gonzalez said, “I’m so happy to continue here for yet another season, what will be my fifth year with what has already become my second family.”
Barbara Guarischi has podiumed four times in 2021, and Sebastian Unzue said, “It was a priority for us to retain her for the foreseeable future.” On her decision to stay, Guarischi said: “I’m so happy to be part of this team, this group of people is so kind, so humane. Their human quality has been a huge factor in my choice to stay….We’re a group of friends who go racing every week, people who are willing to sacrifice themselves for each other to achieve the best results.”
Gutierrez was second in two stages in Valencia, but Unzue spoke of the potential the team saw in her future: “The last two years don’t make justice to her quality and performance. As soon as she leaves her recent injuries and health issues behind, we’ll see her reaching her maximum potential. She’s got speed, winning instinct, is a huge asset in one-day races – supporting the team and hopefully contesting them in the future. We’ve got confidence she’ll reach big heights really soon.”
Gutierrez herself said, “They’ve always trusted in my quality in this team, believed in my potential, let me grow. As they say when you get married, they’ve helped me in sickness and in health. I’m hopeful that all these bumps on the road, from a physical standpoint, are finally gone.”
This brings Movistar up to thirteen names confirmed for 2022: Katie Aalerud, Aude Biannic, Jelena Eric, Sarah Gigante, Alicia Gonzalez, Barbara Guarischi, Sheyla Gutierrez, Sara Martin, Emma Norsgaard, Lourdes Oyarbide, Paula Patino, Gloria Rodriguez, and Annemiek van Vleuten.