The opening stage of the two-day Vuelta a Murcia and the famous Strade Bianche in Italy preceed the start of Paris-Nice on Sunday
Just as it happened two weeks ago, Movistar Team will find again three races on their calendar for this weekend, with the telephone squad dividing themselves between Spain, Italy and France. As a prelude to Paris-Nice, the second race in the 2012 World Tour schedule starting near the French capital on Sunday, the Blue squad will have two events to cover on Saturday.
In Italy, the squad directed by José Luis Arrieta will face their first-ever participation in the Strade Bianche –previously called Eroica-, a race where cycling and history get together with 190 kilometers and up to eight unpaved sections -four on the first half of racing, 39k in total; the latter four, 18k long, closer and shorter- through the roads of the Tuscan province of Siena. Giovanni Visconti, Pablo Lastras, Fran Ventoso, Rui Costa, Andrey Amador, Ángel Madrazo, Branislau Samoilau and José Herrada will be the eight riders there.
In turn, the Vuelta a Murcia awaits in Spain as its route has been reduced to only two days in this year’s event. Saturday will see the riders climb to the Sierra Espuña interpretacion center after the start in Archena and three minor cols before the Cat. 1 Collado Bermejo, 8k from the finish; on the other hand, Sunday’s stage proposes as 12.3k individual time trial in the capital city to decide the final winner. Under the direction by José Luis Jaimerena, Movistar Team will bring 2011 Vuelta a España overall winner, Juanjo Cobo, making his 2012 competitive debut, along with Jonathan Castroviejo, Jesús Herrada, Sergio Pardilla, Nairo Quintana, Rubén Plaza –who returns to the race where he broke his leg a year ago- and Vladimir Karpets, who will also do his first kilometers on a race this season.