By Antonio J. Salmerón
Contentpolis-Murcia signed Manuel Calvente according to his manager Antonio Vaquerizas. Referring to the former CSC and Agritubel rider, Vaquerizas said, "Manuel Calvente has reached a contractual agreement with the continental Contentpolis Murcia [team]." The squad is formerly known as Grupo Nicolás Mateos-Murcia; its name has not yet been updated on the UCI website.
"I still have a couple of years as a professional cyclist," said the 31 year-old Spanish climber, born in Granada, told Cyclingnews, althoughhe admitted to having gone through times of uncertainty and low morale "upon leaving the French Agritubel after two seasons." He called signing with Contentpolis-Murcia "a very motivating thing for me and for my family".
Calvente's debut will likely come in the Vuelta a Castilla y León. "I started training – albeit late relative to other years and my colleagues. I am working very hard now to get ready as soon as possible, especially now that I have this wonderful opportunity to continue as a professional rider."
Calvente has logged some noteworthy performances throughout his career. He raced for Pinturas Banaka and Avilas-Rojas in U23 category and then made his professional debut with Jazztel-Costa de Almeria in 2001. The following year, CSC signed him, and there he gained the confidence of Bjarne Riis. Calvente stayed with the Danish team until 2005.
"It was my big mistake to leave CSC, where I always felt very good," he said. "I signed by Agritubel in search of greater freedom. It was another great team, but I did not find the necessary motivation and results did not come anyway."
Reinforcing Calvente power in reaching the main goal for the Contentpolis-Murcia in 2008: to be in the Vuelta a España.