By Anthony Tan
In an official press statement from the team, Francisco Mancebo has formally broken ties with AG2R Prévoyance. The French ProTour team issued a brief, one-sentence statement on Monday evening, stating both parties had reached a common accord.
Cyclingnews' correspondent Antonio J. Salmerón called Mancebo's manager Daniel Plaza today, who confirmed the news, also saying that he's in still in contact with five teams, including Relax-Gam. Given their wildcard invitation to this year's Vuelta a España, the Spanish Pro Continental outfit is a likely destination for 30 year-old Mancebo.
Plaza gave the impression that Relax and Mancebo will sign as soon as possible. Having recently courted compatriot Luis Pérez from Cofidis, 10th overall in the 2006 Vuelta, it appears the Spanish team's ambitions for 2007 have stepped up a notch.
Mancebo was one of 58 cyclists implicated in Operación Puerto, the Spanish investigation that uncovered what appeared to be a well-organised, large scale doping network headed by Dr Eufemiano Fuentes, a former team doctor. Subsequent to his name being mentioned, Mancebo announced his retirement, but after the Spanish cycling federation shelved his file in late October, he indicated his intention to race again.