Although most of the attention in the world of cycling will be on Saturday's Milano-Sanremo race this week-end, another event starts in Spain with the 23rd edition of the Vuelta a Castilla y León. The stage race is divided into five stages for a total of 630km of racing, with all the action in the Castilla y León region.
Spanish team Caisse d'Epargne announced its rider roster for the event, with Arnaud Coyot, Joan Horrach, Oscar Pereiro, Fran Pérez, Marlon Pérez, José Rujano, Rigoberto Uran and Xabier Zandio taking part in the race. Australian Neil Stephens will be guiding the riders.
At South Africa's Barloworld team, Alberto Volpi will direct squad, with Mauricio Soler as team leader as he completes his recovery from his early season knee injury. Also in the line-up is Austrian national champion Christian Pfannberger who recently won the Giro del Capo stage race in South Africa. Felix Cardenas is also expected to be in the action in Spain, while the Barloworld squad will be completed by John Lee Augustyn, Francesco Bellotti, Gianpaolo Cheula, Marco Corti and Moises Duenas.
The Pro Continental Contentpolis-Murcia squad will also take part in the Vuelta a Castilla y León. It will be led by the climber Julián Sánchez Pimienta, who will be supported by Oleg Chuzda, Eloy Teruel, Jorge Sánchez Pimienta - his brother -, Rafael Serrano (national U23 time trial champion), Rafael Rodríguez, Alberto Rodríguez (Joaquim Rodríguez's brother) and Ruben Reig.
Team managers hope to continue obtaining the good results that Contentpolis-Murcia has reached in the Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana and in the Vuelta a la Región de Murcia. But Manuel Vázquez, who finished second in the first one, suffers from tendonitis in his left knee as a consequence of a bad position on his bike. Veteran Adrián Palomares and young promising riders Javier Etxarri, José Herrada and Sergio Domínguez will have a rest to resume racing in April. In addition to Sánchez Pimienta, the Ukrainian Chuzda and the local Teruel will continue racing.
Antonio J. Salmerón contributed to this report.