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Tondo leaves Relax GAM for LA Millaneza

By Antonio J. Salmerón

Suarez Cuevas, Relax GAM's director and manager, was upset to loose Xavier Tondo, a Spanish rider who has signed for next year with LA MSS Milaneza, one of the most powerful Portuguese pro continental teams.

Rather than renew with Relax GAM, Tondo will transfer teams for the fifth time in his five-year pro career. He explained to local paper Diari de Tarragona, "It is a gamble, a challenge. It is a change of very great calendar, because we do not yet know with certainty where we will compete," Tondo's main aim in 2007 is the Portuguese tour. To Tondo, the transfer has the potential to "relaunch my professional career."

Tondo thanked Relax GAM for their support, especially during the 2006 season, which was difficult for him. "In Relax GAM, I felt very supported by everyone, but I wanted to undertake a new [career] stage for me." Tondo hopes to leave behind the bad luck that plagued him while on Relax GAM.

He was attracted to his new team by director Manuel Zeferino. Tondo said, "I am thankful because LA MSS Millaneza has trusted me, and I hope to justify their confidence in me with hard work and good results.

Milaneza' signing supports his return to Portugal. Tondo believes cycling in Portugal is at a high, "There are very good squads, and the truth is that I have more possibilities there." Tondo will debut with his new teammates in the Volta a Algarve in February, and is already training for next year. An injury in the Pyrenees in August curtailed his 2006 season.

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