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Antón leads Euskaltel's Almeria effort

Igor Antón will lead the Euskaltel-Euskadi team at this weekend's Clásica Internacional de Almería as the Spaniard looks to continue preparations for the Ardennes classics in April.

Antón briefly led last year's Vuelta a España before a crash forced him out of the race, winning stages four and 11 in Valdepeñas de Jaén and Pal respectively.

The 27-year-old also took fourth in last season's edition of La Flechè Wallonne in addition to seventh in Liège-Bastogne-Liège and a top 10 overall at the Tour de Romandie, marking him out as one of Euskaltel's best Classics and general classification riders.

He'll go into this year's Ardennes Classics one of the men to watch after last season's exploits, likely forming a two-pronged attack with classy teammate Samuel Sanchez, who is a proven performer in one-day and stage races. Rubén Pérez will also provide strong support and act as a back up plan, much like he did at the 2010 Clásica de Almería, where he finished ninth.

Antón will be joined by Mikel Nieve, Rubén Pérez, Alan Pérez, Mikel Landa, Ion Izagirre, Miguel Minguez and Jonathan Castroviejo, who replaces Koldo Fernández after the latter broke his collarbone at the recent Vuelta a Andalucía.

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