By Antonio J. Salmerón
The International Criterium Ciudad de Murcia will take place in the capital city of the region of Murcia on November 18. Some of the world's most famous cycling stars, such as Alejandro Valverde, Stefano Garzelli, national champ Joaquim Rodriguez, Oscar Sevilla, Paco Mancebo, Iñigo Cuesta, Quique Gutierrez and Angel Vicioso will participate in the event, as well as all the local professional riders like Fran Perez, Jose Joaquin Rojas and Luis Leon Sanchez (Caisse d'Epargne), Claudio Casas (Andalucia-Cajasur), Eloy Teruel and Jose Antonio Baños (G. N. Mateos) and Jesus Buendía (Barbot-Halcón Viajes).
The winner of the overall race will be determined by adding the results of each competition, which includes a Criterium, Elimination and Team Time Trial. However, organizer Meta 21 has this year introduced a 'face to face' race between a rally car, a Peugeot 207 to be exact, and Caisse d'Epargne leader Alejandro Valverde, who won the event last year. To compensate for the lesser horsepower of the latter, the local rider will have to complete a couple of laps less than his opponent.
The event will also be the opportunity for veteran sprinter Angel Edo to receive a plaque of tribute as he will leave professional cycling after this race.