Spanish ProTour squad Saunier Duval-Scott team began their pre-season preparation Tuesday in the Andalusian city of Granada.
On a cold, misty morning, all 27 riders including Paralympic champion Javier Otxoa left the team's base at the M.A. Nazaríes Hotel and began what turned out to be a five-and-a-half hour training ride.
Covering 170 kilometres that included the 25 kilometre climb of the Mirador de la Cabra Montés, all members of the team finished bar Alberto Fernández de la Puebla, who has been battling with pain in his right leg in recent weeks.
The team will continue to train around the roads of Granada over the coming days as preparation for the 2008 season, which begins later this month. Team doctors, biomechanists and coaches will perform various tests on the riders during this time.
The first three races Saunier Duval will be competing in run concurrently: the Tour Down Under in Australia (January 20-27), the Tour de San Luis in Argentina (January 22-27), and the Tour of Qatar (January 27 to February 2). The team presentation will be held on January 12.