Liberty Seguros Continental
|Team manager(s)||Américo Silva|
|Team name history|
|Águias de Alpiarça
LA Aluminios-AC Malveira
LA Aluminios-Pecol-Águias de Alpiarça
LA Aluminios-Liberty Seguros
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.
Foundation and early years
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 LA
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 extinction
On 18 September 2009, the positive doping control for CERA at the 2009 Volta a Portugal by cyclists Héctor Guerra, Isidro Nozal and Nuno Ribeiro became public. Liberty Seguros announced that it would withdraw sponsorship, forcing the team to withdraw the cyclists of the running course. On 21 October, the UCI announced that the counter-analyzes confirmed the positive control for all cyclists. This doping triple case led Liberty Seguros to withdraw the sponsorship of the team, which led to its extinction.
|5 August||Stage 1 Volta a Portugal||Cândido Barbosa|
|8 August||Stage 4 Volta a Portugal||Carlos Nozal Vega|
|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|