Fernando Gaviria at the Vuelta a San Juan.

Movistar signs Guerreiro from EF, adds Gaviria on one-year contract

Three signings announced in one day for the Spanish team.

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Movistar announced three new signings for the 2023 season on Wednesday, kicking off with 18-year-old youngster Ivan Reméo before announcing that Colombian sprinter Fernando Gaviria and Portuguese climber Ruben Guerreiro will also join the team.

EF Education-EasyPost’s Guerreiro has cut his contract with the American squad short in order to jump ship to Movistar and Gaviria joins on a one-year contract after four seasons with UAE-Team Emirates in which he found mixed success.

Both moves were seen as likely in recent weeks. Guerreiro had previously been linked to a team swap, despite fruitful years at EF that included a stage of the Giro d’Italia as well as the race’s mountain classification jersey. Gaviria seemed sure to exit after UAE director Joxean Fernández Matxin told VeloNews in September that the sprinter was a “12 out of 10” for talent but “his work level is at a five or six.”

It is somewhat unusual for a rider with Gaviria’s palmares to sign a one-year contract, but his spotty results in recent years indicate that the signing may be treated as something of a test run for both parties. Gaviria shone brightly in the 2018 and 2019 seasons, winning stages of the Giro d’Italia and Tour de France and wearing the yellow jersey in the latter. In 2022, he took home only one victory, at Eschborn-Frankfurt. Movistar has lacked a true sprinter for years.

“It’s a new challenge, both for me personally and surely for the team as a whole. I’m joining such a prestigious team which, on the other hand, has been so far focused on the climbing side of the sport,” Gaviria said.

Guerreiro’s contract with EF was dissolved by mutual consent, and the rider didn’t speak to the specifics of his departure.

“I have always admired Movistar since I was little. The chance to join that makes me very happy and motivates me enormously,” said Guerreiro. “I want to confirm my qualities. I don’t think I’ve been able to reach the maximum and I think the next few years may be the best years of my cycling life.”

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