The Spanish WorldTour team, financially secure to 2021 after long-time sponsor Telefonica extended its partnership, said Colombian Nairo Quintana will be its clear leader for the 2019 Tour.
During the 2018 Tour, Quintana, who has already won both the Giro d’Italia and the Vuelta a España, was Movistar co-leader along with world champion Alejandro Valverde and Mikal Landa - a so-called trident of attack.
But it all fell apart under the pressure of Team Sky's more disciplined approach to racing which delivered them yet another Tour victory, this time with Geraint Thomas while four-time winner champion Chris Froome finished third.
Quintana did win a stage (17) and Movistar found some consolation in winning the teams prize but clearly, a general classification is the most important measure of Tour success.
Movistar boss Eusebio Unzue admitted last season’s Tour tactics had failed and that backing the Colombian was the key to a 2019 Tour victory.
“We want to concentrate our focus on Nairo on the Tour de France, and the Vuelta too,” Unzue said. “The key objective for the team this year is to win a Grand Tour."
Team rival Mikel Landa will race the Giro in May and then ride in support of Quintana at the Tour while 38-year-old Valverde will race the Giro and Vuelta in September.
“We were always in there with a chance last season, but somehow the strategy (of three leaders) fell short and we failed to meet our objectives," Unzue said.
“We had wonderful moments though with 27 wins, but had bad luck with Quintana and Landa not quite as good as we’d been hoping for, but that will all change this year.”