By Monika Prell
The team Fuerteventura-Canarias was presented officially this week in Madrid, only one week after the team's Professional Continental status was reinstated by the UCI after a Swiss judge ruled in favor of the team. The UCI had initially refused to give the squad a license on grounds that they hadn't followed the application procedures, but the team argued that they had met all the deadlines.
The team director, Oscar Guerrero, described the tense weeks to Noticias de Guipuzcoa, saying, "It's true that during this time everything crosses your mind, most of all that the cyclists could have to stop riding. Luckily, everything came out well and we are have a year to demonstrate that we deserve this."
The team consists of 17 riders, nine of them from Comunidad Valenciana, three from Kaiku and, of course, the only Canarian professional, Dailos Díaz. Guerrero, who directed Kaiku during the last two years, is confident about the upcoming season now that the legal battles are behind them.
He sees promise in David Bernabeu, but indicated that the uncertainties surrounding the team have had an effect on him, and predicts that Iker Flores, a former Euskaltel rider, will be able to win. "I will have to try that he believes again that he is able to win. If he has a good head, without pressure and anxiety, I believe that he must return to be all that we hoped of him."
The team's main objective is clear - getting an invitation to the Vuelta a España - and victories are important for getting such notice. However, with such a young team, Guerrro is taking things one step at a time. "I would like to go day-to-day, without saying if we will win four races, eight or ten." He added, "Perhaps you reach six second places and win none or, on the contrary, you have two opportunities, like Aranaga two years ago, and you win both. If we win a race, we will intend to win another. The mentality has always to be going forward to win."
Guerrero confirmed that Vicente Belda, the former director of the Comunidad Valenciana team which makes up much of the basis of the Fuerteventura Canarias team, has acted as an advisor to the team, but will remain on the sidelines. "He will go to the races as a father, because his son (David) is riding for us."
For the full team roster, visit the Cyclingnews teams database.