Still no contract for 2011 Vuelta a España winner Juanjo Cobo
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Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Still no contract for 2011 Vuelta a España winner Juanjo Cobo

by Shane Stokes at 6:31 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
Time running out for Spaniard

Juanjo CoboIt’s been two quiet seasons since Juanjo Cobo won the Vuelta a España and now, with his Movistar team not willing to renew his contract, the 32 year old rider is hoping that he won’t be forced to retire.

The Cantabrian has been unable to find a contract thus far but isn’t giving up yet, keeping his fingers crossed that something comes through for him. He confirmed to Biciciclismo that he’s currently without a deal, and that he’s worried.

In fact he’s the second Vuelta winner in three years to be in that situation; this year’s victor, Chris Horner, is also without a contract at this point in time. Having agreed a deal with Fernando Alonso’s planned new team, he was left stranded when the Formula One driver and the Euskaltel Euskadi team were unable to reach an agreement about the purchase of its WorldTour licence.

Horner then came up short with Trek, which will be set up next year and include many riders and staff from his current RadioShack Leopard team. The stumbling block was that Horner wanted more money than Trek was either willing or able to give him, and so that avenue was closed.

Since then he’s waited fruitlessly for offers along the lines of what he feels he is worth. Horner released his biological passport in a bid to assuage questions posed to him during his dominant Vuelta win, but that gesture appears not to have paid off.

Last month UCI biological passport expert Robin Parisotto spoke at length to VeloNation about the data, saying that he wasn’t reassured and would recommend extra testing to try to explain the variations seen.

As for Cobo, given that his victory came a little over two years ago, his wage demands will be far less than those of Horner. His priority is to remain involved in the sport and to prove that he can still achieve big things.

He was hampered in this year’s Giro d’Italia after injuring his knee in the opening team time trial, and ende dup 116th overall. His best season result was seventeenth overall in Tirreno-Adriatico.

The drop in Cobo’s fortunes is reflected in his points value. Using the CQRanking System, he clocked up just sixty points this season and 96 in 2012, which are far less than the 1048 he achieved in 2011.


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