Although shortened from five to three days, the Vuelta a Murcia in Spain will see a top field for the race set for March 4-6.
Christian Vande Velde will lead Garmin-Cervélo among a 14-team field that also is set to include Carlos Sastre making his debut with Geox-TMC and Carlos Barredo lining up with Rabobank. Other top teams include UnitedHealthcare, Team Sky, Euskaltel-Euskadi, Saxo Bank-Sungard (with Alberto Contador listed to start), Movistar and Vacansoleil (with Ezequiel Mosquera).
Economic woes forced race organizers to chop two days off the race, but they’re hoping to reshape the race into something along the lines of Criterium International.
The opening stage is run over sprint-friendly ground around San Pedro del Pinatar, while the second will favor the climbers with a summit finish atop the Alto de Espuña. Day three ends with a 15km individual time trial in Murcia.