Released by Orbea at the end of this season, 21-year-old Noel Martín is still hunting for a contract for 2012. After only two years at the Continental team, the highly-regarded youngster was somewhat surprisingly informed his services would not be retained next year. And finding a team at this time of year has so far proved futile.
"I'm looking for a team, but it goes without saying it's quite difficult. It's pretty late, and most teams are full by now", he told Iban Mayo Blog here the other day. "But if I find a decent amateur side I'll continue to compete on the Spanish amateur scene and do some racing on the boards as well."
Martín has a pedigree for track racing, highlighted by his bronze medal in the sub-23 scratch race at the recent national championships. Having competed regularly on the track as a junior, the Ávila-born rider decided to dust off his fixie in time for the nationals despite having done little specific training going into it.
"I really enjoyed the championships in Mallorca, but I think I could have gathered a few more medals if I had done more track racing beforehand. And with next year being an Olympic year and all, my competitors were very well prepared and thus the competition was stiff. I've always liked track racing though, so I'll no doubt focus more on it".
Hailing from Ávila in the Castilla y León-region, Martín has naturally entertained the idea of riding for fellow Conti-team Burgos 2016 - Castilla y León next year. But with a congested market and an ever-diminishing number of teams in Spain, he admits the chances of riding for his home team is a long-shot.
"It doesn't look likely (riding for Burgos 2016), but I still harbour hope of finding a team somewhere", he said.