By Antonio J. Salmerón
Fran Perez has renewed with his Caisse d'Epargne team for 2008. Perez came to the team in July 2005 after having led the Portuguese Maia Millaneza team, where he won two stages of the Tour of Romandie in 2003. The 29 year-old had a harder time after moving up to the ProTour, but in February 2006, he took his only win in the Clasica de Almería, and this season placed second on a stage in the Giro d'Italia. He was also called upon to carry Alejandro Valverde through the Tour de France, and put in 80 days of competition, implying that his directors have relied on his good work.
Perez is happy to stay put, saying, "I am in one of the strongest squads of the bunch with some of my countrymen." This season left him with a "true bittersweet flavor," after he finished second in the time trial in the Clásica de Alcobendas, which was won by Valverde. Perez was also second in a stage of the Tour de Romandie. So, facing the 2008 season, the slender cyclist born in Murcia said he wants "a greater role for himself." Perez is convinced that, "I can do well in one week races."