Matxin hopeful about future of Geox TMC team, says negotiations are going well
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Thursday, October 27, 2011

Matxin hopeful about future of Geox TMC team, says negotiations are going well

by Shane Stokes at 6:44 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
Team’s sporting manager states that it is in discussions with companies

Juan Jose CoboConfirmed this week as one of five squads in the running for three UCI ProTeam places, but battling to secure backing for next year, the Geox TMC team has expressed hope about its chances for 2012.

The squad has just three more days to make an important payment to the UCI, yet sporting manager Joxean Fernández Matxin sounds positive. “Negotiations are going well,” he told VeloNation today. “There are some companies which are very close to us and we are really optimistic about the future of our team.”

According to the Basque, the team hasn’t yet paid the UCI bank guarantee required for registration. It had been due earlier this month but main sponsor Geox declined to pay up, then stunned the team when it said it was walking away from the sport.

When it came on board last year, the Italian press reported that the footwear company would commit 50 million euro over five years. It left after one, despite Juan Jose Cobo (pictured) winning the Vuelta a España. The team has said that it is considering taking an action with the Court of Arbitration for Sport, something CAS told VeloNation that it can do providing the original contract allowed for this kind of judgement.

Matxin states that the team has until October 30th to pay the bank guarantee, albeit with a fine due to the delay.

He realises time is tight, but is adamant that the team offers very good value to potential backers. “It's a good moment for a smart sponsor to take on the team, because for a relatively little amount of money it's very likely that this sponsor will have a ProTeam with important riders and huge possibilites to get relevant results,” he said.

“Menchov can be a favorite for the next Tour of France, with almost 100 kilometres of time trials and Cobo by his side. We also have options in the Giro, where Duarte has the capacity to step forward, and the Vuelta, which has been already won by Cobo. I don't see many ProTeams with better options for the Grand Tours, and because of that I think this team is going to be very profitable, at least as much as it has always been."

The UCI stated yesterday that if the team does stop, the 1T4i squad – which is currently ranked 21st and thus just one place outside the cutoff point for consideration – will not move up a place and thus be eligible to chase a ProTeam licence.


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