Footon-Servetto trusts in youth once more in Vuelta a España
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Monday, August 23, 2010

Footon-Servetto trusts in youth once more in Vuelta a España

by Ben Atkins at 11:06 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Vuelta a España
 
"Golden generation" aiming for stage wins and the development of Rafael Valls

manuel cardosoSpanish Footon-Servetto team will be sending a youthful team to the Vuelta a España, the third Grand Tour of the year, which starts in Sevilla on Saturday; the team’s average age is just over 26 years and Italian Giampaolo Chuela is the only rider over 30. Once again the team is banking on its young riders punching above their weight against more the more experienced riders of other teams.

“Our goal in this race will be searching for the stage wins,” said team manager Joxean Fernandez Matxin. “We'll count on [Manuel] Cardoso for the sprints, which we blindly trust he'll be racing hard, and we'll be also fighting with [Rafael] Valls, who should do well after his Tour de France.”

The 23-year-old was aggressive in a number of mountain stages of the Tour, and finished second to Quick Step’s Sylvain Chavanel at Station des Rousses; he went on to finish the race 53rd overall.

“We will be trying to take Rafa as much forward as possible in the key stages, but overall we'll be fighting into the breakaways to claim those successes. We have riders specially suited for the breaks, such as [Giampaolo] Cheula, [David] Gutiérrez or [Alberto] Benítez, who have got to know how to do well in those fights, and we're also bringing a nice group for the mountains with [Arkaitz] Durán and Valls, who will be trying to do well."

This Vuelta will likely be the last time that this team will get to ride a Grand Tour as an aggressive underdog. With new sponsor Geox coming on board for 2011 the team will have an increased budget, but more significantly will be joined by two former Grand Tour winners in Carlos Sastre (Tour 2008) and Denis Menchov (Vuelta 2005 and 2007, Giro 2009).

Footon-Servetto team for the Vuelta a España:
Alberto Benítez, Manuel Cardoso, Giampaolo Cheula, Arkaitz Durán, David Gutiérrez Gutiérrez, Enrique Mata, Martin Pedersen Rafael Valls and David Vitoria

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