Matxin urges Geox TMC riders to fight on, says it is possible to continue
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Saturday, October 22, 2011

Matxin urges Geox TMC riders to fight on, says it is possible to continue

by Shane Stokes at 7:14 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
 
Requests companies to consider backing the Spanish team

Geox TMCThe chief sponsor may have withdrawn from the Geox TMC team, but Joxean Fernández Matxin continues to believe that it is possible to resolve the situation with a replacement backer and to obtain a UCI licence for 2012.

The team’s sporting manager issued a passionate plea today for assistance from prospective sponsors, and told the riders and staff that it was still possible to save the team if they stood together and fought.

In his statement, he began by explaining that he was in China when he received news that what he understood was a multi-year contract was not being honoured by the Geox company, a multi-million euro footwear manufacturer.

He referred to a brief statement issued by that company, which made it clear that it intended to walk away. “Geox confirms the end of its sponsorship agreement with the professional cycling team led by Mauro Gianetti at the end of the current season,” that statement said. “After a year of experience in professional cycling, the company considers its presence in this sport not strategic anymore.”

Matxin said that he felt very hurt by how things had turned out. “It hurts to read this statement, on the same day as the deadline for the UCI registration, without room for manoeuvre,..” he stated. “It hurts me to read it, I bleed that it doesn’t consider my people, even more so after the emotional victory in the Vuelta; it doesn’t consider this human group which excels in all respects, which worked for a team-mate before thinking about itself, a team which shared dreams for a commercial brand.”

Matxin thanked the riders and the staff for what they had done thus far, and insisted that there was hope. “I'm still optimistic, I always have been… But now if we want this, we must strive to achieve it and translate it [into results] before the 30th of this month.,” he said, referring to a final UCI deadline.

“For this reason, I am making an appeal to companies, commercial brands, sponsors, who want and desire to be number one in profitability as we always have been, to join us and create, to dream… To commit to us in the same way as we are going to do with them, as we wish to do so, hopefully in the very near future. We want to make this dream a reality, and we will work more than ever to achieve this.”

One of the team’s top riders, Denis Menchov, has said that he has been talking to other teams and has options to join UCI ProTeams if necessary. However Menchov also spoke about his preference for the Geox-TMC team “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, according to CyclismActu. “I still have a contract with them and it is one with good conditions.”

Vuelta a España winner Juan Jose Cobo has also started negotiating with other teams. However he has said that he looks certain to lose money in not being able to take the contract he had agreed with Geox-TMC; as a result, if a solution is found for that team to continue, he may well opt to stay on board.

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