No Movistars in California.
The Colombian Continental squad made a last minute decision not to race the Amgen Tour of California. Movistar communications officer Juan Pablo Molinero confirmed the team is an early DNF — Did Not Fly.
Molinero told Cyclingnews to contact the race organizer, saying “he is the only one that knows the reasons.” That sounds mysterious — however the real reason appears to be that the team has no biking clothes. The Tour of California is a ranked 2.HC stage race sanctioned by the UCI and not a nudist event.
A dig on the team’s website reveals that Movistar riders are still in the process of getting its kit together “due to the paperwork required to bring the equipment into Colombia.”
Michael Roth, AEG’s Vice President of Communications, said “the team made the decision based on operational factors.” Again, hard to race naked.
Normally, 18 teams are invited to the Tour of California runs but Movistar was added in March, after the UCI surprised everyone with a new rule requiring race organizers in the UCI continental tour to invite the top three teams on the UCI’s sporting rankings in their respective tours.
While the gear snafu is unfortunate, maybe the no-show decision was based on the terrible weather conditions forecast for the start of the race in this Sunday in lake Tahoe. The latest update predicts light snows and a temperature of 40 degrees fahrenheit.
You need plenty of gear for that and Movistar just doesn’t have the cold weather apparel to race. Perhaps the team could just ride the stages in Southern California, where it’s warm and sunny and snow-free.