Menchov signs two year contract with Team Geox
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Thursday, August 19, 2010

Menchov signs two year contract with Team Geox

by Conal Andrews at 1:56 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
 
Russian joins Carlos Sastre as big-name additions

Denis MenchovThe new Team Geox has swooped to sign Denis Menchov, successfully upstaging the Team Katusha and Astana squads that had previously been in discussions with the rider.

As reported yesterday, Team Geox management were in negotiations with Menchov and were rumoured to have competed the deal. That has now been confirmed, and the Russian Tour de France podium finisher will compete with the team for the next two years.

“We’re very happy to see Denis Menchov understood fast how deep the project we at Geox have in mind is,” explained General Manager Mauro Gianetti. “He’ll be forming up a very competitive couple with Sastre for the big stage races, giving a higher point for the team when it comes to team strategy in 3-week courses.”

Sastre was confirmed as joining earlier this week and now, with Menchov on board, the team has signed two of the biggest names in the sport. The Spaniard won the Tour de France in 2008 and believes the new project will enable him to get his motivation back, while current Rabobank rider Menchov will aim to add to his Grand Tour haul of two victories in the Vuelta a España and triumph in last year’s Giro d’Italia. The 32 year old was third in this year's Tour.

“Menchov is a regular rider who excels in the time trials, and his characteristics will perfectly compensate with the pure climbing style of Carlos,” said Gianetti. “The Geox team is being formed right in line with our plans, and we will add some interesting riders by the end of the season.”

Menchov had already indicated that he was going to leave his current team after six years of competing there. He was being pursued by the Astana team, which is looking for a replacement for Alberto Contador, and by the Katusha squad, from his home country of Russia.

He met with Andrei Tchmil last Thursday in Spain, and discussed the latter project. He said afterwards that the meeting was an interesting one, and indicated that signing for the team was one option which he was considering.

However he revealed this week that a concrete offer had not been made. “Of course I would be pleased to speak of Katusha, but I have not heard a specific financial proposal,” he told Sportsdaily.ru. “I met with the president of the Russian team, Andrei Tchmil, but we just met, talked and agreed to return for more talks this week. And of course, I received offers from other teams much sooner than from Katusha.”

Astana was also unable to compete the deal in time, and Team Geox was able to jump in and agree terms. The new team is being built upon the structure of the existing Footon-Servetto squad, backed by the Italian footwear manufacturer Geox. It is rumoured to be putting in €10 million per year for the next five years.

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