By Antonio J. Salmerón
"I have three offers for the coming year, but the most interesting for me is Andalucía-Cajasur; after four years out of Spain, I want to return to race in Spain, and in addition, this squad comes from my region," said Juan Miguel Mercado.
The 29 year-old made his debut ten seasons ago on Seguros Vitalicio. "I'm not forgetting that Agritubel gave me the opportunity to return to the Tour de France, where I had strong performances in 2004 and in 2006." Mercado gave his reasons for leaving Agritubel. "I am very grateful because I think Agritubel is doing very well, but my motivation is not the same. Now my family requires my attention, so I prefer to continue my cycling career in Spain."
Mercado said he had physical problems all season, but added, "At the age of 29, I feel far from finished. On the contrary, I think that my signing with Andalucía-Cajasur will be what I need."
"In 2008, the team will count on two important riders, Redondo and Ventoso – the latter a good sprinter. I think that I can offer them my experience, especially in the mountain stages. I want to win again." Mercado told Eurosport.es that he is "confident that he will reach a successful agreement."