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Mayo returns to racing in Murcia

Euskaltel-Euskadi's Iban Mayo will return to racing tomorrow when he lines up for the first stage of the Vuelta a Murcia (March 1-5), according to Europa Press. The team hopes to improve its early-season campaign which has already seen it take the team classification at the Vuelta a la Comunidad Valenciana and Iñaki Flores take overall fourth place in the Vuelta Andalucía.

Mayo will be joined in Murcia by Antton Luengo, Beñat Albizuri, Unai Uribarri, Rubén Pérez, Joseba Zubeldia, Igor Antón and Aketza Peña.

The five-stage Vuelta a Murcia is expected to be taxing, with two stages that should be crucial to the overall result. Stage 3's 21.3km time trial in Jumilla will be an essential test for any rider with general classification aspirations, and the following day's 148.6 trip from Caravaca de la Cruz to Collado Bermejo includes three category one climbs and finishes at 1150m.

Mayo and Euskaltel won't have things their own way. Murcia will also be an early-season outing for several other noted talents, including Discovery Channel's Manuel Beltran; Caissed'Epargne's Alejandro Valverde; Lampre-Fondital's Damiano Cunego; Liberty Seguros' Alexandre Vinokourov; and Rabobank's Denis Menchov and Michael Rasmussen.

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