Geox-TMC crisis: Menchov already in contact with other teams
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Friday, October 21, 2011

Geox-TMC crisis: Menchov already in contact with other teams

by VeloNation Press at 7:50 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
Says he could stay put if replacement backer is found

Denis MenchovDenis Menchov, who along with Vuelta a España winner Juan Jose Cobo is the biggest name on the Geox TMC team, appears surprisingly relaxed about yesterday’s news that the chief sponsor was ending its association with the sport some four years earlier than was expected.

“I reacted calmly. From the beginning of this team, everything went wrong, and what happens there could happen at any time,” he said, according to CyclismActu. “In fact, it's not that bad, life goes on.”

Geox’s last minute withdrawal from its commitment to back the team comes at a very difficult time, both in terms of it being so late in the season and also because it came on the last day for rider transfers. Contracts can still be signed after that deadline, but UCI rules state that the riders’ points concerned can no longer form part of their new teams’ totals.

That reduces the potential benefit to a team of signing a high-points rider. In turn, that makes it more difficult for those riders to get a slot and also reduces their bargaining power and, consequently, their contract price.

Menchov, though, appears to be very much in demand. “I have already started to negotiate with other teams. Now I will calmly consider all options,” he said, his approach indicating a degree of confidence that all will be fine. “Of course, these are first division teams.”

He rules out a move to his country’s UCI ProTeam, one which chased him in the past. “Katusha is not my primary option,” he said, “my future team will be foreign.”

Geox TMC team management indicated yesterday that they were not going to take things lying down, saying that they intended bringing a case before the Court of Arbitration for Sport. CAS Secretary General Matthieu Reeb confirmed to VeloNation today that the court could rule on such matters, but only if a CAS arbitration clause was written into the original contract.

Reeb said that he wasn’t aware if such a clause was in existence for the team. He said this morning that no appeal had been lodged by that point in time.

If the Geox TMC management manage to somehow keep things together, Menchov has suggested that he could form part of the squad next year. UCI rules state that he is no longer under contractual obligation as the team didn’t make the UCI ProTeam requirements, but it appears that he might like to stay anyway if a last minute cash injection is found.

“If they do not take too much time to fix things and if I do not have a contract with another team, then why not?” he said. “I still have a contract with them and it is one with good conditions.”



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