By Antonio J. Salmerón
Thanks to one million euro, Contentpolis is getting behind a UCI Professional Continental team based in Murcia, Spain. Contentpolis, the "City of Digital Content" is a combination of theme park and real estate business venture focussing on the audio-visual world. Its 210 hectare facility is scheduled to begin operation in 2010.
According to the president of the Murcia region, Ramon Luis Valcarcel, who has shown a keen interest in taking on a professional cycling project, Contentpolis is aiming to yield 3% of the output and audiovisual services throughout Spain within five years. The business park will house more than 200 companies, including some multi-national corporations that address production, creativity and entertainment.
The Murcia region is pouring in a quarter of the 1,528 million euro to launch Contentpolis. José Antonio de Heras, speaking for the local government, announced the sponsorship. "The local government will contribute 700,000 euro, while the municipality of Murcia will give 300,000 euro." Heras believes in the chances for the team to participate in the Vuelta a España based on the quality of its riders, including Adrian Palomares, Manuel Vázquez, Jose Miguel Elias and Julian Sánchez Pimienta.
At age 31, Palomares is in his eighth season as a pro, and in 2007, he achieved two stage victories in the Regio Tour in Germany and at the Tour of Great Britain, which he also led at one point. Elias made his pro debut in 2003 with Relax-Fuenlabrada and has won a stage in the Vuelta a Portugal although his is currently recovering from a fracture of the ulna and radius which he sustained in November. Pimienta made the move from Fassa Bortolo and is known for finishing third in the Challenge de Mallorca in 2006. Vázquez won the Tour Alentejo in Portugal, and won the mountains classification in the Vuelta a Murcia in 2007.
Team Contentpolis-Murcia will make its debut in the Volta a la Comunidad Valenciana on February 14.