Juan José Cobo still holding out for Geox-TMC to continue with new sponsor
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Saturday, November 05, 2011

Juan José Cobo still holding out for Geox-TMC to continue with new sponsor

by Xylon van Eyck at 8:41 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
 
Vuelta winner says there’s just twenty days to save the team

Juan Jose CoboJuan José Cobo hopes to continue with manager Mauro Gianetti in 2012 as the team manager continues his search for a new financial sponsor. Cobo won the Vuelta a España with Geox-TMC in September and renewed his contract for next year. However in recent weeks, shoe manufacturer Geox announced it would end its support of the team, leaving Gianetti scrambling to find a new backer.

This week Cobo told Cadena Ser and El Diario Montanes that he will remain with the team in the interim, as the hunt for a replacement sponsor continues.

“Seeing the situation as it is, there still might be a few options so I will endure a little. So far, there is time for them to get a sponsor and remain a professional team,” said Cobo.

“[Gianetti] has a deadline of twenty days before he ends the team.”

Cobo is said to have been in negotiations with Astana but the two parties could not come to an agreement. He has lost some power at the negotiating table, as his points haul at the Vuelta can no longer count towards any team’s points tally. The UCI’s October 20 deadline for teams to submit its top riders has passed, and the sporting hierarchy has already been determined.

Given this, Cobo would be forgiven for being frustrated with his situation. However he’s showing notable patience. “I have a contract signed with Bike Live [Geox-TMC’s managing company - ed] and I respect it,” he said. “Waiting is the best option for me unless the teams with which I negotiated with call me and present me with a good offer.”

It is unclear at this stage where negotiations for a new sponsor lie. Team captain Denis Menchov is said to be in talks with other teams, Katusha included, and if he does leave the points value of the team will drop significantly. Even if a new backer is found, a ProTeam licence appears less and less likely.

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