Juan Jose Cobo signs two year contract with Movistar team
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Friday, December 30, 2011

Juan Jose Cobo signs two year contract with Movistar team

by Shane Stokes at 8:29 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
 
Vuelta winner finds new deal after Geox TMC debacle

Juan Jose CoboVuelta a España champion Juan Jose Cobo has found a new squad after the disintegration of the Geox TMC setup, with the 30 year old moving to Team Movistar for the 2012 season.

The Spaniard competed with the same setup in 2010, riding in the colours of then-sponsor Caisse d’Epargne, but didn’t fare well at all. He stated this year that he went through a period of depression and was unable to motivate himself sufficiently, with his results suffering as a consequence.

The 2011 season was a very different one, peaking in the Vuelta a España where he won the Angliru stage, captured the leader’s red jersey and defended it to Madrid. The result follows on from earlier stage victories in the 2008 Tour de France and 2009 Vuelta a España, as well as the overall classification in the 2007 Vuelta al Pais Vasco, and makes Movistar general manager Eusebio Unzué believe that he can do big things in the season ahead.

“This is another step forward in the quality of our roster. I think the victory in the Vuelta changed his mentality, while his physical conditions will remain just as strong as we saw this season,” he said. “I think his arrival and Alejandro’s [Valverde – ed.] will make us take a leap above our previous status, mostly because the team surrounding them is even stronger than last year’s support.”

Cobo has faced a stressful few weeks since Geox walked away from the team in October. General manager Mauro Gianetti and sporting manager Joxean Fernandez Matxin battled to find a replacement sponsor, but the latter finally admitted defeat on December 21st.

The Vuelta champion is consequently very relieved to have a place on a ProTeam squad for 2012. “I’m really satisfied because Movistar Team is one of the biggest squads in the world and will give a chance to be in the most important races in the calendar. I know they made an effort for me,” he said.

“In 2010 I rode under the direction of Unzué and things did not go as expected. I think both of us were feeling disappointed about that and now I’m sure it all will turn out better. I’m really willing to do well and get together with my new team-mates.”

His racing programme has not yet been announced, and the team has said that he won’t be commenting further until a presentation next Wednesday.

This will see both he and Alejandro Valverde unveil the 2012 jersey and also speak to the press about their signing.

Valverde is returning from a lengthy ban due to his implication in Operacion Puerto. He is set to lead the team in the Tour de France. It is unclear if Cobo will also ride the race, or if he will instead concentrate on the Giro d’Italia and/or the Vuelta a España.


Movistar team for 2012:

Staying: Andrey Amador (CRC), David Arroyo, Marzio Bruseghin (ITA), Rui Costa (POR), Imanol Erviti, Iván Gutiérrez, Jesús Herrada, Beñat Intxausti, Javier Iriarte, Vasil Kiryienka (BLR), Ignatas Konovalovas (LTU), Pablo Lastras, David López, Angel Madrazo, Sergio Pardilla, Rubén Plaza, José Joaquín Rojas, Enrique Sanz, Branilau Samoilau (BLR) and Francisco Ventoso.

Joining: Jonathan Castroviejo (Euskaltel-Euskadi), Juanjo Cobo (Geox), José Herrada (Caja Rural), Vladimir Karpets (RUS-Katusha), Javi Moreno (Caja Rural), Nairo Quintana (COL- Colombia es Pasión), Alejandro Valverde and Giovanni Visconti (ITA-Farnese-Vini).
 

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