Gustavo Veloso, Rafael Lourenço, Emanuel Duarte and Samuel Blanco are the cyclists who reinforce, in 2021, the Atum General / Tavira / Maria Nova Hotel team, presented this week in Matosinhos, at the headquarters of one of the sponsors.
“Despite the context of the pandemic, the 2020 season proved to be successful. We have even higher expectations for 2021 and these four reinforcements, which we present here today, reflect our desire to do even more and better ”, said, on the occasion, the sports director Vidal Fitas.
The head of the Tavira Cycling Club, the team that has been cycling uninterruptedly for the longest time in international cycling (since 1979) and that continues to have the achievement of Volta a Portugal as a major goal, added that “the curriculum and the potential” of the hires and the athletes who remain “make them dream, which is the essential condition at the beginning of each new season”.
Gustavo César Veloso, 38 years old Spanish cyclist, born in Pontevedra (Galicia), who won the Volta a Portugal in 2014 and 2015, as well as 12 stages of the race between 2006 and 2020, is the main contractor.
Two other reinforcements are from the Algarve and promises of the modality at district level: Rafael Lourenço, 25, born in São Bartolomeu de Messines (Silves), “is considered one of the most promising cyclists in the under-23 category”, and Emanuel Duarte, 23 years old, born in Portimão, pedaling in competition since 2016, in junior level.
Finally, the fourth “new face” will be Spaniard Samuel Blanco, born in 1994, in Chapela. In sport, he started in football and, due to his father's influence, a former runner, who recognized him for his skills in the sport, has been dedicated to cycling since 2011.
The support of General Tuna continues, as part of the strategy of Dom Manuel, the company that distributes this brand of canned fish, whose cans have a yellow “shirt” and that have been associated with cycling for many decades.
At the international level, although the name of the team remains, the brand to be displayed on the backs of cyclists will be that of another national canning brand, Ramirez – the oldest worldwide company in the sector in operation.
The business synergies between Dom Manuel and Ramirez, and the greater implantation of this at the international level, justify this option. "This bet is a kind of homecoming, since Ramirez was born precisely in the Algarve, in 1853. We are umbilically linked to cycling and the Algarve," said Joana Queiroz, the brand manager.