Manuel Calvente thanked Contentpolis-Murcia for its contract offer in the best way possible, winning the Vuelta a La Rioja. The 31 year-old Spaniard, contracted by Agritubel for the last two years, had made the agreement with the Spanish Continental team just before the race win.
At the beginning of 2008, the climber born in Granada did not have any possibility for continuing in the professional cycling. However, suddenly, the new Contentpolis-Murcia squad showed interest in him. "It was wonderful," Calvente confirmed. "We reached a contractual agreement quickly because we both knew that I still have some more years of cycling in my legs. I had waited a lot ... but I was very optimistic while training. Furthermore, I started to train a bit later than before."
The experienced rider had only raced for three days in April before disputing the Vuelta a La Rioja. "To have won the Vuelta a La Rioja is the best way to thank the Contentpolis-Murcia team-members. It has been a great surprise for me. I felt very good while training, but I could not know how I would go in a three-stage race," he continued.
Calvente arrived for the race in Logroño accompanied by Sergio Pardilla.
"I've been training very hard to bear results," Calvente stated. "We had to take this race while climbing, although it was not an easy task because there were several strong squads very interested in finishing in a sprint. The Swede, Niklas Axelsson, punctured though a roundabout in the last three kilometres."
Calvente hopes "to be also strong in the Subida al Naranco and in the Vuelta Asturias," which will be his next targets.
By A.J. Salmerón and Cyclingnews