By Antonio J. Salmerón
Manuel López, the directeur sportif for Contentpolis AMPO in 2009, hopes for a similarly successful year as 2008 turned out to be. He will share his work with Oscar Guerrero, who fits perfectly into the team, taking into account his background with the Kaiku and Fuerteventura squads.
"Fighting has been our style and identity, which many organisers [recognised] and therefore invited us to their races. They even welcomed us, as in the Regio Tour. That's why we focus on continuity, but also make necessary improvements. Maintaining the internal cohesion is very important for us, because it has also been one of our keys to success in 2008," López said to Cyclingnews.
The team expanded its roster to be able to tackle the full 2009 schedule. "For the Contentpolis AMPO team it is very important to be invited by the Tour of Qatar, but also to the Tour of Turkey and the Vuelta a Mexico, for example. But the race we really look forward to in 2009 is the Vuelta a España. Our schedule will be determined largely by this event, since we must first earn the trust of [Vuelta organiser] Unipublic-ASO, and then we want to take part with the most competitive riders."
Contentpolis AMPO renewed contracts with its cornerstones of 2008, such as Manuel Vazquez, Adrian Palomares and Julián Sánchez Pimienta. It added new riders Aitor Perez (Extremadura), Francisco Pacheco (Barbot), Javier Benitez (Benfica) and Dioni Galpasoro (Euskaltel), among others. "We've covered our presence in the sprint with Benitez, Gaztañaga, Pacheco and Galpasoro, but we also keep our options alive in the mountain with Palomares, José Herrada, Oscar Garcia Casarubios and Claudio Casas. We have young people for disputing the short time-trial stages with Chuzhda Oleg, Eloy Teruel and Rafael Serrano. But the most important thing is to reinforce our candidacy for fighting for the overall classification with Aitor Perez and Manuel Vazquez."
López hoped to adapt the new riders rapidly. "Most of them have more experience and quality, so that it should be easier. They know our work philosophy. I do not think they have problems – on the contrary, it must be very motivating for them to be here."
The team will have its first race at the Challenge de Mallorca, unless they get an invite to an earlier race. Before that, Contentpolis AMPO will have a training camp from January 19 to 25. The camp takes place in Murcia, in the Centro de Alto Rendimiento Infanta Cristina, in Los Alcázares. The team will have Ridley Excalibur and Noah Red bikes, Catlike Vacuum helmets and Inverse clothing in 2009.
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