The team will be led by Floyd Landis, who made his return to racing at the Amgen Tour.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“This race is a good opportunity to get Floyd and the rest of the guys ready for the first part of the U.S. season,Ã¢â‚¬Â said team Directeur Sportif Mike Tamayo. Ã¢â‚¬Å“After a two-and-a-half year layoff, Floyd is still looking for his race legs. He showed some signs of it the last couple days of California, but this is a good race to continue his progress. The field is full of quality riders, and the race is done entirely at altitude, including some climbs that approach 12,000 feet.Ã¢â‚¬Â
OUCH Presented by Maxxis brings a mix of stage racers and sprinters for the Vuelta, including LandisÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ lieutenant Pat McCarty, as well as Cam Evans and Roman Kilun to help with the climbs. For sprints and breaks, the team will look to Karl Menzies, John Murphy, Andrew Pinfold and Bradley White.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“California was a hard race to start off the season,Ã¢â‚¬Â McCarty said, Ã¢â‚¬Å“but the guys came together really well and we all came out of it stronger than we went into it. I think weÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re going into Mexico with a lot of good momentum after California.Ã¢â‚¬Â
OUCH Presented by Maxxis will face stiff competition in Mexico, including two of its primary rivals on the U.S. domestic scene: Team Type 1 and Rock Racing. The Rock squad will be led by last yearÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Vuelta Mexico champion Glen Chadwick, as well as U.S. national champion Tyler Hamilton.
They will also have to contend with Gilberto Simoni (Serramenti-Diquigiovanni), who will be using the Vuelta Mexico as part of his preparation for an assault on yet another Giro dÃ¢â‚¬â„¢Italia overall title.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“There should be a lot of hard racing this week,Ã¢â‚¬Â McCarty added. Ã¢â‚¬Å“This race will set us up really well for San Dimas and then the start of the NRC series in Redlands at the end of March.Ã¢â‚¬Â
OUCH Presented by Maxxis for La Vuelta Mexico, March 1-8:
Cam Evans, CAN
Roman Kilun, USA
Floyd Landis, USA
Pat McCarty, USA
Karl Menzies, AUS
John Murphy, USA
Andrew Pinfold, CAN
Bradley White, USA