Liberty Seguros Continental

The Liberty Seguros Continental professional cycling team was a Portuguese team based in Bombarral. It was one of the European teams in UCI Continental Tour, but it was dismantled at the end of 2009 due to a doping scandal.

Liberty Seguros Continental
Team information
UCI codeLSE
RegisteredPortugal
Founded1996
Disbanded2009
Discipline(s)Road
StatusContinental
Key personnel
Team manager(s)Américo Silva
Team name history
1958–1960
1977–1978
1996–1997
1998–1999
2000–2002
2003–2004
2005–2006
2007–2009
Águias de Alpiarça
Águias/Clok
LA Aluminios-AC Malveira
LA Aluminios-Pecol-Águias de Alpiarça
LA Aluminios-Pecol-Calbrita
LA Aluminios-Pecol-Bombarral
LA Aluminios-Liberty Seguros
Liberty Seguros
Team colours
Team colours
Team colours
Jersey

HistoryEdit

Foundation and early yearsEdit

Although there was a cycling team competing at the beginning of the second half of the 20th century, the professional cycling team was founded for the 1996 season with the sponsorship of Portuguese aluminium company, LA Pecol. The group became one of the most important Portuguese squads, developing a great rivalry with Maia, another great Portuguese team.

The team participated in the 2000 Vuelta a España and Andrei Zinchenko won the 14th stage, which ended in Lagos de Covadonga. The victory of the Russian, (winner of three stages in 1998), was the first victory of a Portuguese team in the history of the Vuelta. In 2001 the team was not invited to participate in the Vuelta a España, so it pretty much just competed in the Portuguese calendar. The great rival of the LA-Pecol-Bombarral the Milaneza-Maia, raced in the Vuelta (something that had not happened in the previous year). After the 2004 season, the sponsor Pecol left the team, ending the designation LA-Pecol.

Arrival of Liberty and departure of LAEdit

With a new organization of cycling teams since 2005, the team was designated as UCI Continental category (below categories ProTour and UCI Professional Continental, the first and second highest categories, respectively). Also that season the team received a new sponsor, the multinational Liberty Seguros, as part of the agreement, cyclists Nuno Ribeiro and Sérgio Paulinho moved to the Spanish team Liberty Seguros-Würth, a ProTour cycling team run by Manolo Saiz.

In 2006, as a result of Operación Puerto, Liberty Seguros withdrew its sponsorship of the Spanish team, and the Portuguese team was the only team sponsored by the insurer. In 2007 the team stopped being sponsored by LA Aluminios (now to the ancient Milaneza-Maia with MSS), with the team leaving the designation LA Aluminium Liberty Seguros and becoming just Liberty Seguros.

Doping and extinctionEdit

On 18 September 2009, it was announced that three cyclists, Héctor Guerra, Isidro Nozal and Nuno Ribeiro had tested positive for CERA at the 2009 Volta a Portugal. On 21 October, the UCI announced that the counter-analysis confirmed the positive control for all cyclists. This doping case led Liberty Seguros to withdraw the sponsorship of the team, which led to its extinction as a professional team. The team did continue as an elite level domestic team for a further three seasons before folding in 2012.

Honors 2006Edit

Date Tour Runner
5 August   Stage 1 Volta a Portugal Cândido Barbosa
8 August   Stage 4 Volta a Portugal Carlos Nozal Vega

2007 teamEdit

Name DOB Nationality
Cândido Barbosa 31 December 1974   Portugal
Hernani Brocco 13 June 1981   Portugal
Filipe Cardoso 15 May 1984   Portugal
Jordi Grau Sogas 31 July 1981   Portugal
Héctor Guerra 6 August 1978   Spain
António Jesus 20 January 1984   Portugal
Carlos Nozal Vega 15 May 1981   Spain
Luis Pinheiro 5 June 1980   Portugal
César Antunes Quiterio 20 July 1976   Portugal
Nuno Ribeiro 9 September 1977   Portugal
Vitor Rodrigues 9 March 1986   Portugal
Rui Sousa 17 July 1976   Portugal
Pablo Urtasun 29 March 1980   Spain