Mancebo signs with Kastro Heraklion-Murcia

Spain's Francesco Mancebo has signed with the Greek-Spanish Continental team Kastro Heraklion-Murcia, the team has announced.

Mancebo, 34, rode for the US-Based Continental-ranked Rock Racing Team last year. The team did not get a licence for the 2010 season.

Mancebo finished third in the Vuelta a Espana in 2004 and 2005, and fourth overall in the Tour de France 2005. He first turned professional in 1998 with Banesto, remaining with the team until 2005, when it was called Illes Balears – Caisse d'Epargne. In 2006 he joined Ag2r, but was suspended just before the Tour de France due to his suspected involvement with Operacion Puerto. He initially announced his retirement but in 2007 he rode for Relax-Gam and for Fercase-Rota dos Moveis in 2008, before joining Rock Racing last year. He won the rain-soaked stage of the 2009 Amgen Tour of California but then crashed out of the race.

"I still have a lot of cycling left in my legs,” Mancebo said. He will be the new team leader, and thinks he “will give the team a stronger presence in its races.”

He is scheduled to ride the Volta ao Alentejo in Portugal, June 10-13; Tour de Beauce (Canada), June 15-20; Spanish nationals, June 25-27, and the Vuelta a Venezuela, June 20 to July 11. “Each of these competitions offers different features, but very attractive,” he said.

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