Geox sponsorship deal confirmed, will take over backing of Gianetti’s Footon Servetto team
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Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Geox sponsorship deal confirmed, will take over backing of Gianetti’s Footon Servetto team

by Conal Andrews at 11:47 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
 
Aim is to increase global awareness of brand and develop young talent

Manuel CardosoAfter weeks of rumours that Italian footwear company Geox was set to take over the title sponsorship of the Footon-Servetto cycling team, confirmation of that has been given in a press release. An agreement has been reached between the Geox president Mario Moretti Polegato and the manager Mauro Gianetti, and will see the project be ready in time for the start of the 2011 season.

Hailing it as “the realization of a new competitive project in the world of cycling,” the communiqué as cited by various media states that “the ambition is to be more than a cycling team.

“The objectives are not only to obtain important sporting success, the promotion of the brand at an international level and the discovering and launching of young talent, but also the application of technology patented by Geox in relation to the level of perspiration," they explain.

Rumours about the project have linked former Giro d’Italia and Tour of Lombardy winner Damiano Cunego to the project, while more recent whispers have even suggested that the Schleck brothers could be racing in the team colours in 2011. A total budget of 50 million euro over five years has been doing the rounds.

No rider names were released today, but the press release mentioned that it had two top names lined up. "To achieve its objectives, the team consists of two high-level international riders and of young talents, to ensure sporting results and the promotion of the Geox brand worldwide," it stated.

Rebranding Gianetti’s team will be the fifth incarnation of the squad in four years. It was originally known as Saunier Duval-Scott in 2008, then was rechristened Scott-American Beef in the wake of a number of doping scandals, including positive tests by the likes of Riccardo Riccò and Leonardo Piepoli at that year’s Tour de France.

It started the 2009 season named Fuji-Servetto, then the Swiss in-sole maker Footon stepped in this year, modifying the name once more. It featured a host of young riders in this year’s Tour, with second at Station des Rousses by Rafael Valls Ferri and third at Bagnères de Luchon by Aitor Perez Arrieta being the best results.

Geox was a minor sponsor of the Lampre-Farnese Vini team this year, and thus already has some links with Cunego. It also sponsors the blue jersey for the best Italian rider in the women’s Giro d’Italia.

More details are expected in the near future. The UCI has a deadline rule of September 1 for news about transfers, although this has been regularly broken of late.

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