The 51-year-old worked with Cadel Evans and Richie Porte during his tenure at BMC, which faced financial collapse earlier this year before a Polish enterprise saved the outfit to be known as CCC from next season.
“I’ve been here eight years and new infrastructure is coming in, so people, ideas, culture, language,” Sciandri said. “The offer from Movistar, I was very happy about it. I think it’s pretty Spanish and close to roots, how they do things. They don’t really open doors to many people. If you check out their website and go through it they’re all Spanish, Spanish, Spanish [staff]. There’s only one guy I think who was Czech, a soigneur, all the rest were Spanish.”
Sciandri joins a sizeable list of BMC riders and staff that decided to leave Jim Ochowicz’s fold that for much of the year appeared financially shaky. Porte will go to Trek-Segafredo in 2019 and his coach David Bailey to Bahrain-Merida, which Rohan Dennis is also bound for.
“When [Movistar team manager Eusebio] Unzué, spoke to me I was happy and honoured about it. I gave Jim a shot until he had the sponsor in place, I wanted to give a fair opportunity to Jim. Then when they announced CCC, I decided to go to Movistar,” Sciandri said.
Cycling’s ongoing tug-of-war with sponsorship is nothing new to the former professional, who used to sign contracts as a rider in September so was unconcerned as BMC’s future came close to the wire.
“It’s really hard to get these sponsorships, or these figures, the whole scenario is too pushed to the limit,” he said. “Teams are too expensive to maintain and too big, just too much of everything I think. When a sponsor calls it a day it’s hard to find somebody who will give us another 20 million odd or whatever it costs,” he said.
Sciandri plans to firstly observe at Movistar, home to Nairo Quintana and Mikel Landa who could benefit from his insight on Porte and other Grand Tour contenders.
“If they need anything from me I’ll put in my knowledge of doing stuff and see if it helps. It’s a totally different team but they are a team that wins … they must be doing stuff right,” he said.