By Antonio J. Salmerón
On Thursday evening, the Extremadura cycling team directed by Alfonso Rodríguez received a fax from the UCI confirming its inclusion in the list of Professional Continental squads for 2008. Rodríguez had struggled as co-sponsor Grupo Alfonso Gallardo bailed out of the project and he had to ask the regional government of Extremadura for an additional economic contribution in order to obtain the minimum cover required by the UCI. Finally, all of its 16 riders will be able to continue their careers as professional cyclists.
The new Extremadura Professional Continental squad, which had been European Continental in 2007, will be led by local Rodrigo García (ex-Fuerteventura) and include other important riders such as track cyclists Carlos Torrent and Jaume Rovira. Its major goal will be to debut in the Vuelta a España. The team will continue to be supported by Spiuk for bikes and clothing.