Valverde and Gutiérrez lead candidacy in Spain

By Antonio J. Salmerón

Last time, at 'home', in Murcia, Alejandro Valverde (Caisse d'Epargne) lost a unique opportunity to win in the Spanish championships. In Móstoles, next to Madrid, this Sunday morning, Valverde wants to settle that debt, and hopes to go to the Tour de France as the Spanish champion. Because of the foreseeable outcome of the 228 km race to a sprint finish, the Caisse d'Epargne rider leads the list to beat the rest of the favourites, such as Angel Vicioso (Würth), Angel Edo (Andalucia), Martin Perdiguero (Phonak) or Francisco Ventoso (Saunier Duval). The participation of Oscar Freire (Rabobank) is in doubt.

Gutiérrez to defend

The Time Trial Championships will already take place on Friday, June 23. The three times champion José Iván Gutiérrez (Caisse d'Epargne Illes Balears) looks like a hard man to beat, but his rivals will nevertheless try: Team 3 Molinos Resort Murcia through Santos González, Jesus del Nero and Toni Tauler, and Team Würth with Luis León Sanchez and Isidro Nozal. The Grupo Nicolás Mateos track rider Sergi Escobar will be another main candidate for the win, as well as Saunier Duval's David Cañada, Carlos Sastre (CSC), Carlos Castaño (Kaiku), amongst others.

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