Movistar Team back on Saturday & Sunday (Almería)
Blues' two locals available for the 37th edition of the region's one-day event – Rojas continues to recover after his serious injury in September – set to head Laguía's line-up. Barbero, Sütterlin look for chance in Almería
Following their victorious campaign at the Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana with Nairo Quintana, the Movistar Team will be back racing on Saturday as they take on the 37th Vuelta Ciclista a la Región de Murcia. The southeastern Spanish event was forced to keep the Cresta del Gallo finishing climb out of its 2017 parcours due to road damage, yet it conserves the Cat-1 Collado Bermejo as toughest point of a 183km route which also includes Cat-3 hills Aledo and Gebas.
Alejandro Valverde and Rubén Fernández – the latter making his 2017 debut after jaw injuries in the winter – will be the main attraction for a race where the telephone squad, directed by José Luis Laguía, will also feature Gorka Izagirre, brilliant at the Tour Down Under before a crash ruined his GC crashes. The seven-man roster for Murcia is completed by Jasha Sütterlin, Jorge Arcas, Antonio Pedrero and Marc Soler.
Seeking for a good result in Almería
Valverde will leave a spot for Carlos Barbero at the Clásica de Almería on Sunday, the UCI 1.1 race offering again a sprinters' course on its 190.9km route from the Andalusian province's capital and Roquetas de Mar. All other six participants in Murcia, with Laguía as DS, will repeat their appearance, the Blues set to help out both Barbero and Sütterlin, remarkable in the TDU, as sprinting guns.