By Antonio J. Salmerón
Spaniards Francisco Mancebo, Oscar Sevilla and Santi Perez will lead newly formed Professional Continental squad Relax GAM which was officially presented yesterday in Fuenlabrada, Madrid. The twenty rider team is composed almost entirely of Spanish riders with the only exceptions being Jan Hruska of the Czech Republic and Russian Denis Kudashev.
In signing Mancebo and Sevilla, both of whom were named in the Operación Puerto investigation, Relax GAM are hoping to gain a wild card spot in the 2007 Vuelta a España. "I feel ready to return to cycling," Mancebo told Spanish news agency EFE. "Relax GAM is a small squad, but I am better here than nowhere at all. The main aim is to gain participation in the Vuelta, but I also interested in the World Championships."
Despite being fired by T-Mobile after failing to prove his alleged links to Operación Puerto were false, Sevilla never felt ready to turn his back on professional cycling. "I always had the desire to compete," Sevilla said. "I have taken care of myself and must thank my friends and family. I hope to contribute my experience to Relax GAM."
The Spanish squad has already notched up its first UCI win this season, Daniel Moreno taking the final stage of the Tour de San Luis in Argentina with Mancebo placing third overall.
For the full team roster, visit the Cyclingnewsteams database.