Movistar shakes up its sport director staff with three new arrivals

Xabier Muriel, Yvon Ledanois, and Jürgen Roelandts will join the team's core group of sport directors for 2023.

Photo: THOMAS SAMSON/AFP via Getty Images

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Team Movistar is shaking up its sport director roster following a tense 2022 season for its elite men’s team.

Xabier Muriel, Yvon Ledanois, and Jürgen Roelandts will join the team’s core group of sport directors for 2023, officials confirmed Wednesday.

Roelandts, the Belgian ex-pro, ended his career with Movistar in 2020, while Ledanois recently left Arkéa-Samsic and rejoins Movistar, where he worked from 2005 to 2012. Muriel moves across from experience with the Caja Rural and Murias teams.

“Cycling’s changed a lot over the years, but one thing that hasn’t changed is my will to always be close to the riders, to give 200 percent for them, and that they feel I am one of them from inside the car,” Ledanois said. “That’s the same from all the performance staff here. Our objective is to give everything, put your heart into it, and help to carry this group as high as possible, where it deserves to be. With this team, we can aspire for new heights.”

The news comes as Movistar prepares to move into its first season without Alejandro Valverde in the peloton. The 42-year-old retired in October and will assume a role as team liaison working between riders and staff.

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After a scare mid-season, Movistar surged in the second half of 2022 to secure its WorldTour future by earning enough points to finish among the top 18-ranked teams during the past three seasons.

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