Androni Giocattoli – Venezuela’s Savio believes WorldTour licence could be possible by 2015
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Friday, November 16, 2012

Androni Giocattoli – Venezuela’s Savio believes WorldTour licence could be possible by 2015

by VeloNation Press at 11:15 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
 
Italian manager negotiating with Venezuelan government

Gianni SavioAfter long gaining access to the Giro d’Italia on a wildcard basis, most often as a result of his team winning the season-long Coppa Italia standings, Androni Giocattoli – Venezuela manager Gianni Savio is hoping not to rely on such methods from 2015.

The Italian has given himself three seasons until he feels he will be in a position to line out in the three Grand Tours as one of the UCI’s WorldTour squads.

Savio’s teams have long been known has having a patchwork quilt appearance, in terms of the scattering of sponsor logos on the jerseys. Rather than having one or two big backers like most teams, he’s tended to scrabble together the team budget from a multitude of smaller sponsorships.

However he hopes that the funding provided this year from the Venezuelan government could lead on to bigger things, finally giving him the chance to get the UCI’s top-ranked licences.

“Right now I’m negotiating with the Venezuelan government about the chances of upgrading the team to ProTour status,” he said in an interview with the C-Cycling website. “We talked about it at the Olympics this summer and in January I will fly to Caracas (the Venezuelan capital) to have another meeting about the project.

“I think it will be difficult to have it all ready for 2014, but I hope that in 2015 it will be possible”.

This time last year the management of the Geox TMC team were desperately trying to save the squad after their backers abruptly left the sport. The measures taken included talks with the Venezuelan tourist authority but ultimately these talks proved unsuccessful and the team folded.

Soon afterwards, Savio revealed that he had negotiated his own deal with the country, and that it would provide funding for his squad. He insisted that there was no overlap between his talks and those of the Geox TMC management, and pointed to his history of developing South American talent as evidence of a long-term relationship.

He now feels that history could pay off in a bigger way. Savio believes the Venezuelan government could up its investment over time, and that this will give him what he needs to join cycling’s top ranks by 2015.

Until then, he’ll continue to rely on wildcards to get into races such as the Giro, and continue to take the fight to the bigger teams in the sport.

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