By Antonio J. Salmerón
The newly re-formed Grupo Nicolás Mateos-Murcia Professional Continental Team will be on the roads next season with 16 riders. It will be led by climbers José Miguel Elías and Julián Sánchez, coming from the Relax-GAM, and the ex-Andalucía-Cajasur rider Manuel Vázquez.
In addition, the Spanish squad will count with promising riders such as José Herrada Lopez (from Viña Magna-Cropu), Javier Etxarri Marin and Eloy Teruel Rovira (Grupo Nicolás Mateos), Oleg Chuzhda (Fuerteventura-Canarias), and neo-professionals Sergio Domínguez (U-23/Soctec), Rubén Reig (U-23/Würth) and Rafael Serrano (U-23/Saunier Duval). The Grupo Nicolás Mateos-Murcia is completed by Alberto Rodriguez Oliver (Viña Magna-Cropu), Jesús Buendía (Barbot-Halcon), José Carlos López (U-23/Soctec) and Jorge Sánchez Pimienta. It will be directed by Ginés García and Manuel López.
The team has as its main goals the Vuelta a Valencia and the Vuelta a Murcia, in which it will try to convince Unipublic that it deserves a wildcard spot for the 2008 Vuelta a España.
Spanish Professional Continental Team Extremadura will be led by the local Rodrigo García (from Fuerteventura-Canarias), who will be mainly supported by Carlos Torrent (Viña Magna-Cropu), Jaume Rovira (Elite/Diputación León) and Aitor Pérez Arrieta (Caisse d'Epargne). Ignacio Sarabia Diaz Sarabia, Jesus Ramirez Torres, Josu Mondelo, José Antonio Arroyo Ramirez, Israel Pérez, Sergio Herrero and Ángel Rodriguez have been renewed by Team Manager Alfonso Rodríguez.
Also joining the team are Xabat Ochotorena (Orbea-Laukiz F.T.), Jaime García, Francisco Terciado Sacedo (Relax-GAM) and Gonzalo Zambrano.
The team management will announce the second sponsorship in the following days. Obviously, being based in Granada, the Vuelta a España is its main goal in 2008.