By Martin Hardie
The young Basque rider Aitor Perez was one of many who showed promise in the now defunct Cafes Baques outfit. Although he never gained the victories of, for example, his Colombian teammate in Baque, Felix Cardenas, Aitor was often prominent in the peloton. He worked at the head of the peloton consistently in the closing stages of last year's Vuelta and was often seen in good position in many of the climbing stages throughout the Spanish calendar.
This year Perez is a member of the Spanish continental team sponsored by Basque bicycle manufacturer, Spiuk. Although the Spiuk squad didn't receive an invitation to participate in either the Vuelta a Andalucía, the Vuelta a Murcia or the Clásica de Almería, the determination of Perez is starting to pay off. In the latest UCI European Continental standings, published at the end of February, he remarkably achieved the leadership of that classification.