Geox TMC team to take main sponsor to Court of Arbitration of Sport in contract dispute
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Thursday, October 20, 2011

Geox TMC team to take main sponsor to Court of Arbitration of Sport in contract dispute

by Shane Stokes at 11:36 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
Uncertain future as Geox doesn’t pay required UCI bank guarantee

Geox TMCThe team currently known as Geox-TMC is facing a very uncertain future and could be forced to stop altogether after its chief sponsor has refused to provide the bank guarantee necessary to complete the squad’s registration with the UCI.

The team has disclosed that it will bring that sponsor to the Court of Arbitration to Sport in order to force it to respect the deal it signed last year and to enable the rider’s contracts to be honoured.

The team’s management company Club Deportivo Bike Live has issued a press release on the matter, saying that it today sent the required contracts of the riders in order to apply for a WorldTour licence. However it adds that the team still doesn’t have the financial security it needs for 2012.

“In breach of contractual obligations, the Geox company has inexplicably refused to deposit the bank guarantee required to complete the registration of the team with the UCI,” it stated. “Club Deportivo Bike Live will ask GEOX for the execution of contracts [to honour them – ed.] and some compensation regarding damages before the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Lausanne.”

The short release ends on the sobering note that this could potentially lead to the demise of the team. “Unpleasant and surprising that after the brilliant victory in the Vuelta a España, the team of Bike Live perhaps won’t be able to continue for these reasons.”

The squad had hoped to get a WorldTour licence last year but despite the signatures of Denis Menchov and Carlos Sastre, didn’t have the required points to do so. It missed the Tour de France as a result, but did secure invites to both the Giro d’Italia and the Vuelta a España.

Juan Jose Cobo surprised many when he won the latter, going from domestique at the start of the race to team leader halfway through. He beat Britain’s Chris Froome by just 13 seconds, netting the biggest win of his career. He recently signed an extension in his contract, and the team also tried to get Oscar Freire on board. It is however understood that the latter will compete with Katusha in 2012.

VeloNation understands that there is not necessarily a correlation between the rider not signing and the sponsors neglecting to provide the bank guarantee.

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