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Ruben Plaza (Spain)
Spaniard to race with Unzué-led squad for third time in career
Rubén Plaza will return to Caisse d'Epargne for the second time in his career after securing a contract with the team for the 2010 season. Biciciclismo reports that the 29-year-old, who had also been in talks with Astana, will join the Spanish ProTour squad at a training camp in Pamplona this week.
The current Spanish national road Champion, Plaza was left without a team following the withdrawal of Liberty Seguros from the sport in September after a number of the Portuguese team's riders tested positive for EPO-CERA at the Tour of Portugal.
Plaza returns to Caisse d'Epargne after one-year stint in 2007. He had been embroiled in the 2006 Operación Puerto investigation while racing with Comunidad Valenciana, but was cleared of wrongdoing by a Spanish court that same year. Despite his acquittal, a shortened 2007 season was followed by two years racing for Portuguese teams, Benfica and Liberty Seguros.
Although 2010 will mark a return to Caisse d'Epargne, it will in fact be the third time he will have raced under the team's Directeur Sportif Eusebio Unzué. The first three seasons of his nine-year professional career were spent at Unzué's iBanesto.com.
A powerful time-triallist, Plaza finished fifth overall at the 2005 Vuelta a España, his only Grand Tour participation. This season, his victory in the Spanish national road race was proceeded by stages wins at the Vuelta a la Region de Murcia, Circuit de Lorraine and the Correios de Portugal.
Plaza becomes the 27th member of the Caisse d'Epargne roster. He joins Frenchman Christophe Moreau, Italian Marzio Bruseghin, Colombian Mauricio Soler and fellow Spaniard Juan Jose Cobo as the new members of the team.
Caisse d'Epargne's roster for 2010 so far includes: Andrey Amador, David Arroyo, Rui Costa, Arnaud Coyot, Mathieu Drujon, Imanol Erviti Txente García, Iván Gutiérrez, Arnold Jeannesson, Vasili Kiryienka, Pablo Lastras, David López, Alberto Losada, Ángel Madrazo, Luis Pasamontes , Fran Pérez, Mathieu Perget, José Joaquín Rojas, Luis León Sánchez, Rigoberto Uran, Alejandro Valverde, Xabier Zandio, Christophe Moreau, Marzio Bruseghin, Mauricio Soler, Juan Jose Cobo and Ruben Plaza.
The 2009 Cyclingnews reader poll
You can still enter the 2009 Cyclingnews reader poll and vote for your riders, teams, races, moments, equipment and photos of the year.
One lucky reader will win an Argon18 Krypton bike so get your entries in before the closing date - December 31, 2009.