By Monika Prell Portuguese team Liberty Seguros has announced its 13-man squad for 2009, and...
By Monika Prell
Portuguese team Liberty Seguros has announced its 13-man squad for 2009, and biciciclismo reports that 11 riders from the 2008 squad extended their contract. HÃ©ctor Guerra, Isidro Nozal, Carlos Nozal, Hernani Broco, Filipe Cardoso, Manuel Antonio Cardoso, Antonio JesÃºs, Nuno Ribiero, Vitor Rodrigues and Rui Sousa will continue to wear the colours of Liberty Seguros in 2009.
New riders include JosÃ© Mendes and Edgar Pinto, who rode for Benfica this year, and Portuguese national U23 champion Ricardo Vilela. Koldo Gil, Pablo Urtasun, CÃ©sar Quiteiro and JosÃ© Rodrigues signalled their intentions to ride elsewhere, with Urtasun heading to Euskaltel - Euskadi.
Alternately, Benfica, another mainstay of the Portuguese domestic scene, will most likely disband in 2009, according to Portuguese daily Record. Team manager JoÃ£o Lagos, who has tried to find a new sponsor since the Volta a Portugal, will make any developments official next week. The fact that CÃ¢ndido Barbosa is looking for a new team indicates that the news will be bad for Benfica's riders.
Barbosa could sign for Tavira, as have Benfica's sporting director Orlando Rodrigues, masseurs Francisco Carvalho and Paulo Roque and JosÃ© Azevedo already. The latter recently retired from cycling after a season with Benfica, and he'll undoubtedly become an important part of Tavira's support staff.
Record also reported that Benfica has already sold the team bus to CervÃ©lo, while Benfica's manager Justino Curto bought the team's truck as part of his attempt to create a U23 team with GonÃ§alo Amorim. Only several Benfica riders have sured up their future; the aforementioned JosÃ© Azevedo, Rui Costa (moving to Caisse d'Epargne), Danail Petrov (joining CC Bourgas), and JosÃ© Mendes and Edgar Pinto (moving to Liberty Seguros).