Geox-TMC’s future may hinge on Venezuelan tourist board
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Sunday, November 13, 2011

Geox-TMC’s future may hinge on Venezuelan tourist board

by Shane Stokes at 5:13 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
 
Team management fly to South America to try to seal deal

Geox TMCIn what is likely to be the last roll of the dice for the team, Geox TMC’s management Josean Fernández Matxin and Mauro Gianetti have travelled to South America to try to save the squad from extinction.

The Spanish setup has been under threat ever since the main sponsor Geox indicated on October 20th that it was walking away. The team’s understanding was that a contract was in place until the end of next season, and the management have said that they will take Geox to the Court of Arbitration for Sport. Even if they win, though, that resolution is a long way off and the team needs to secure important funds immediately.

According to El Diario Montañes, the latest effort to save the team is taking place in Venezuela. Matxin and Gianetti are in discussions with the country’s tourist board, which is reported as being interested in investing in the sport.

Logically, if the deal comes about the team would likely sign up some riders from that country in order to bolster the links between the backer and the squad.

The team features this year’s Vuelta a España champion Juan Jose Cobo, who recently said that he would likely wait to see if the team could be saved rather than taking up a contract now. David de la Fuente has also said the same, while the staff recently issued an open letter also pledging their commitment.

Former Vuelta and Giro d’Italia winner Denis Menchov has been in discussions with other teams and was reportedly close to signing with Katusha. The team’s other big name, Carlos Sastre, retired after the Vuelta a España.

It had hoped to secure a ProTeam licence but if it does continue, Pro Continental registration is far more likely.

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