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The Xacobeo Galicia squad is presented on the final podium.
Professional Continental squad shows how it's done
Spanish Professional Continental squad Xacobeo Galicia provided arguably the biggest surprise of this year's Vuelta a España by taking out the teams classification ahead of the best of the ProTour.
While most of the big teams lost members due to preparations for the upcoming road world championships in Mendrisio, Switzerland, the focus of the Xacobeo Galicia team remained firmly on the Vuelta and the regional squad made good on its efforts to take home the teams prize.
Álvaro Pino's outfit boasted fifth-placed rider Ezequiel Mosquera and Serafin Martinez, who won the Solidario sprint classification, but the sum of its efforts equalled more than a top five overall or an individual classification. The directeur sportif admitted that "from day one [we aimed for] the team standings," according to Europa Press.
"We knew that it was [going to be] difficult and eventually we made it. It is one of the podiums that always made me dream so much as a rider or as a directeur... it reflects the work of everyone," he added.
As is the case for many smaller squads, funding is a constant issue that hangs over the heads of team management and riders. The performance of the Xacobeo Galicia outfit at this year's Vuelta should go a long way in securing its future, something Pino says is not completely certain but at least stable for the time being.
"So far, as some newspaper say, I have had no communication [about sponsorship]; we have a contract until the end of 2010," he explained. "Those who decide are the bosses, but I hope there are no problems and [we can] formalise the [team's] continuity for more than two years."