By Antonio J. Salmerón
Andalucía-Cajasur was presented yesterday in Jaen (Andalucía), Spain. The Spanish Professional Continental team will be led by the climber José Antonio Redondo (from Astana) and the sprinter Francisco José Ventoso (Saunier Duval), and directed by Antonio Cabello (also its team manager), Francisco Cabello (ex-professional rider) and Martínez Oliver.
The directeurs expressed their desire to repeat the successful 2007 season, when Luis Pérez won in Ávila during the Vuelta a España. The veteran rider from Madrid has opted for retirement, and his place will be covered by Redondo, who will be responsible to lead the team in the Spanish Grand Tour.
Cabello has also incorporated other young promising riders in Andalucía-Cajasur, such as Javier Moreno (Extremadura), who was crowned National U23 championship in 2005, and Antonio Piedra, who made his debut last year as a professional in the ranks of Fuerteventura-Canarias. In addition, the team has signed four U23 riders; all of them from its feeder team: Luis Angel Maté, Cecilio Gutierrez, Juan Javier Estrada and José Antonio Carrasco.
Andalucía-Cajasur will be composed of 16 riders, mostly from Andalucía, such as José Ruiz, José Luis Carrasco, Juan Olmo, Manuel Ortega, José Antonio López, Jesús Rosendo and Francisco José Martínez, with Claudio Casas from Murcia. All of them will debut next Sunday at the Challenge de Mallorca (February 10 to 14). Following the debut, they will race in the Vuelta a Andalucía (17 to 21), Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana (26 to March 1) and Clasica de Almeria (2).
See Cyclingnews' team database for a full team roster.