Bike Live/Geox TMC granted time extension to try to secure sponsor
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Saturday, December 3, 2011

Bike Live/Geox TMC granted time extension to try to secure sponsor

by Shane Stokes at 10:16 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
UCI said to have extended deadline for registration

Juan Jose CoboFollowing yesterday’s news that the management of the Geox TMC team had conceded that they had not sorted out sponsorship problems prior to the UCI deadline, the team has apparently been given more time to try to find a backer.

Spanish blogger Fran Reyes was the first to note the extension, having spoken to the team’s sporting manager Josean Matxin Fernandez yesterday. He reported that the squad had been given several more days; Marca was a little more specific today, saying that the UCI had handed Matxin and general manager Mauro Gianetti a week to keep the team going.

The problems began on October 20th when the main sponsor Geox walked away, apparently doing so despite there being another year left to run of the current contract. This caused the team to miss the deadline for UCI ProTeam registration, meaning that it could only aspire to being a Pro Continental team in 2012.

However the latter was by no means guaranteed, with a replacement sponsor still needing to be found. Matxin and Gianetti followed up several leads in trying to secure a backer and last month held talks with representatives of the Venezuelan government to try to bring the country on board as a sponsor.

Its president Hugo Chavez has the final say but, by yesterday, had still not committed.

Matxin said that he would be frank with the riders. “I can’t lie to them, and the truth is that we have nothing,” he told AS.

It is not clear if the Venezuelan option is delayed or completely finished. It’s also uncertain if Matxin and Gianetti are starting completely from scratch in relation to commercial sponsors, or if previous negotiations could yet yield fruit.

VeloNation sought comment from the UCI yesterday, but its spokesman Enrico Carpani said that he couldn’t speak on the issue. “I don’t know what the situation is, and couldn’t comment anyway. All I can say is that the next information will be on the twelfth of December,” he stated.


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