De la Fuente lands at Caja Rural

De la Fuente will keep racing as a pro at least for one more season.

David de la Fuente, one of the bigger names on Geox-TMC left without a ride, landed a deal with Caja Rural for the coming season.

It was down to the wire for the winner of the most aggressive prize of the 2006 Tour de France, but De la Fuente will keep racing as a pro at least for one more season.

“I am very happy to race with Caja Rural in 2012 and to continue showing my worth as a cyclist,” De la Fuente said Tuesday in a press statement. “Caja Rural has been growing over the past few years and in 2012 has reached a point of forming a complete squad with a lot of quality. In addition, the hopes to continue growing will unite us all.”

De la Fuente’s arrival to Caja Rural will bolster the team’s hopes of earning a bid to the Vuelta a España. Last year, the team’s hopes were shattered when Vuelta officials chose Skil-Shimano and Cofidis ahead of the Spanish squad. Skil-Shimano later won a stage with Marcel Kittel while David Moncoutie delivered another King of the Mountains jersey and a stage win for Cofidis.

Other top arrivals for 2012 include Manuel Cardoso (RadioShack) and Javier Aramendia (Euskaltel-Euskadi).

With De la Fuente’s arrival, Caja Rural will close out its roster for 2012, said team manager Mikel Azparren.

“We’ve managed to fill out a very complete team to take the challenges of 2012,” Azparren said. “We are confident that he will find his place inside the peloton with more responsibilities. He’s demonstrated to be a very loyal rider for a team and we are confident with us he will have more opportunities to win.”