Floyd Landis’ OUCH Pro Cycling Team will look to continue the momentum built during the Amgen Tour of California as it travels south of the border to contest la Vuelta Mexico, March 1-8.
The team will be led by Landis, who made his return to racing at the Amgen Tour.
“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,” said team directeur sportif Mike Tamayo. “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.”
Team OUCH brings a mix of stage racers and sprinters for the Vuelta, including Landis’ 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.
“California was a hard race to start off the season,” McCarty said, “but the guys came together really well and we all came out of it stronger than we went into it. I think we’re going into Mexico with a lot of good momentum after California.”
Team OUCH 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 year’s Vuelta Mexico champion Glen Chadwick, as well as U.S. national champion Tyler Hamilton. Sprinter Fred Rodriquez will also join Hamilton for Rock Racing.
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 d’Italia overall title.
Lance Armstrong, coming off a seventh place overall finish in the Tour of California, will not participate in the race, but will make an appearance at the presentation of teams on Saturday evening. His Trek-Livestrong U23 team, including pursuit World Cup champion Taylor Phinney, will take part in the race.
“There should be a lot of hard racing this week,” McCarty added. “This race will set us up really well for San Dimas and then the start of the National Racing Calendar (NRC) series in Redlands at the end of March.”
OUCH Presented by Maxxis roster for La Vuelta Mexico, March 1-8:
Cam Evans, Roman Kilun, Floyd Landis, Pat McCarty, Karl Menzies, John Murphy, Andrew Pinfold, and Bradley White.