By Antonio J. Salmerón
Contentpolis - Murcia rider Manuel Vázquez will defend his Volta ao Alentejo title in Portugal this week. The 2007 champion will contest the race with team-mates Adrian Palomares, Alberto Rodriguez, Oleg Chuzda, Jose Herrada, Eloy Teruel, Ruben Reig and Jose Miguel Elias.
The Volta ao Alentejo starts on Wednesday April 9 and runs through to Sunday, April 13. The event's highlight is a 31 kilometre time trial stage and a queen mountain stage on the final day.
Vázquez is clearly in strong form after finishing last weekend's 10th GP Miguel Indurain in sixth position.
After finishing second at the event last year, Team Barloworld will return for another attempt at the Portuguese event. The British outfit will use the event to prepare for the upcoming Giro dItalia and Tour de France Grand Tours.
Spains Moises Duenas will lead Barloworld after impressing at the recent Vuelta Castilla y León, while South Africas John-Lee Augustyn will also race as he often performs well in tough stage races. The duo will be joined by Félix Rafael Cárdenas (Barloworld), Steve Cummings, Geraint Thomas, Hugo Sabido, Italians Francesco Bellotti and Giampaolo Cheula.