Spanish Pro Continental outfit Contentpolis-Murcia is already building for 2009. In their own eyes the team have had a successful year.
Team manager José Antonio Ortuño, told radio station Onda Regional de Murcia that he was happy with the state of Murcia. "We can count on the support of the [state] government, but we also work on getting private companies on board.
Ortuño was at the recent Franco-Belge race, where his team was racing. There is one more race, before the off-season allows the team to plan ahead. "After the Vuelta a Chihuahua, when we close out this fantastic season, we will dedicate all our strengths to tie up things [for next year]."
Times are difficult in cycling, but Ortuño has one advantage in his hands. "The good results we had this season came as a surprise to those who didn't count on us and those who were very skeptical ... Additionally, we captured the interest of other businesses, who are interested."
Ortuño was cautious with announcing those interested businesses. "We can't give names [right now], as this is not what we do. We have always been very clear about this." The team manager revealed one thing that he found rather annoying. "The companies are located outside of the Murcia region. But cycling has changed a lot, and it is hard to find companies that give a lot of money. Rather, there are small contributions that add up."
For Ortuño, the necessary steps are very clear. "First, we have to close the economic chapter. Then, the sports directors can make their decisions, in consensus with the sponsors." It is clear that with the support by the regional government, the Murcian riders will get first dips again. " Chacón and Vera have many possibilities. We are interested in Claudio Casas [Andalucía-Cajasur] and Fran Pérez [Caisse d'Epargne], but I think the latter decided to renew [with Caisse]. A pity, because he was supposed to be our leader."
Ortuño will have around 1.5 million euro to his disposal. But the last word is not spoken, and he hopes for more. "We also have our U23 and junior riders." (AS)