Roniel Campos, winner of the Volta ao Tachira signed by the Algarve team, which bet on the South American market.
With international cycling reduced to a few races, the Volta ao Tachira, one of the main Venezuelan races, had some attentive looks this year.
Although two Italian teams and the Colombian Medellin, by Oscar Sevilla, faced weak local teams, the triumph went to Roniel Campos, a local talent he signed … for Louletano, according to the newspaper O Jogo.
"Roniel is a climber and was faster than Oscar Sevilla in one stage and the strongest to climb in others. I hope he matches. He is 27 years old and can possibly walk well in Portugal," said Jorge Piedade, Algarve sports director, to the newspaper O Jogo, admitting not knowing the reinforcement to the point of being able to say if "you can go to the podium of a Volta a Portugal".
"I have to work with him for a while, but he has the potential for the Tour, not bad at the time trial. He walks better in the toughest mountains. At 1.70 in height, he is thin and light", explains Piedade.
Having lost the Spanish Vicente Garcia de Mateos, leader for seven years, O Jogo, considers that the Louletano made a curious bet in the South American market, having the young Argentine sprinter Tomas Contte, the Chilean Carlos Oyarzún and the Colombian César Nicolás Paredes, this another bet.
"He was in the top ten at the Volta a San Juan [oitavo] and he was Sevilla's right-hand man in Medellín, "explains Jorge Piedade. But it will be Campos, after scoring twice in the opening race of the season, to arouse the greatest curiosity.
"I accompanied him in international competitions and invited him to come here. We were speaking in December and I'm going to enroll him now," revealed the coach of Louletano, admitting that the recent success may lead another team to sign him.
With the departure of Aviludo, the Algarve team "reduced the budget, losing some important runners", revealed Piedade, who is "satisfied with the squad", but disgusted because he had "runs out there and you can't think of anything" . And he added: "I think that it will only start running in April. Foreigners will come at that time".