The second year Pro Continental team Caja Rural has its sites on an invite to the 2012 Vuelta a España, which would be the first Grand Tour start for the Spanish team. As an added incentive for a wild card bid, next season's Spanish Grand Tour starts in Pamplona, the home base for the Caja Rural squad.
"Our relationship [with Unipublic, the Vuelta's organiser] is smooth and at the presentation of the Vuelta on January 11 we'll see if they say something more," Caja Rural manager Mikel Azparren told biciclismo.com. "So far the talks have been positive and we will fight for it (an invite) on the road."
The Caja Rural team hopes to impress the Vuelta organisers with good results at both the Volta Ciclista a Catalunya in March and the Vuelta Ciclista al Pais Vasco in April and the squad is currently laying the foundation for a successful campaign.
"We've done a good block in Fuerteventura where we worked on getting the riders used to the new bikes, and we'll return in January.
"Our line should be that of humility and work with our feet on the ground. We're facing the season with high hopes and dreams of winning, and let's not forget the luck factor," said Azparren.
While Azparren is optimistic about receiving a Vuelta invite, he has to be patient and wait for official word. He hopes that his sponsors will be rewarded for their commitment to the team. "It would be more painful not to ride the Vuelta above all with the confidence the sponsors have placed in us."