By Antonio J. Salmerón
The Vuelta a Andalucía organizer has announced that Ibán Mayo and the Italian Gilberto Simoni will lead their Saunier Duval-Prodir team in the race, which will be contested from February 18-22 over a route of 823 kilometres.
The Basque Ibán Mayo was the star signing for the Spaniard Pro Tour squad for 2007. The team will take on the Vuelta a Andalucía as preparation for the Giro de Italia, Tour de France, and Vuelta a España. Simoni and Mayo are the team's weapons for the Giro and the Tour respectively.
The Vuelta a Andalucía will field 15 cycling teams with seven cyclists each for a total of 105 racers. The first stage will start in Otura (Granada). This year's edition's longest stage is 179km, and the race features eleven category 3 climbs.
The Vuelta a Andalucía organizer also expects the attendance of some of the top sprinters of the world, such as Oscar Freire, Max van Heeswijk (Rabobank), Tom Boonen (Quick Steep) and Robbie McEwen (Predicting).