Current World champion, World Cup champion, and Olympic Champion Julien Absalon will appear in his new team Orbea Mountain Bike Team colours for the first time in competition this Sunday at the opening race of the GP Massi International Catalan Cup in Banyoles, Girona, Spain.
He will be joined by the rest of the Orbea squad, which is spending this week in the area. Among his teammates will be 2005 European champion Jean Christophe Peraud, Spanish champion Rubén Ruzafa and former junior world champion Iñaki Lejarreta.
Banyoles will play host to the first race of this series for the fifth consecutive year. The race is an early season test for many mountain bikers based in Europe.
The Orbea riders will be challenged by racers like last year's winner José Antonio Hermida, Kashi Leuchs, Cédric Ravanel, Peter Riis Andersen, Sergio Mantecón, Israel Núñez, Martí Gispert, and 2005 and 2006 Spanish cup champion Carlos Coloma.
On the women's side, two-time world champion and current European champion Marga Fullana will return to defend her title. She will take on the likes of Laurence Leboucher and Cecile Rode.