Bernaudeau believes phone call to save BBox team will come today
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Monday, September 27, 2010

Bernaudeau believes phone call to save BBox team will come today

by Shane Stokes at 6:29 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
Cofidis poised to sign Voeckler if team folds

Thomas VoecklerThe eternally-optimistic general manage of the BBox Bouygues Telecom team Jean-René Bernaudeau appears to be upbeat about the chances of a new backer being finalised today, saying that he is waiting for the all-important phone call from the un-named company that would take over the sponsorship.

“It’s nothing more than a question of what time [the news will be confirmed],” he said, according to l’Equipe. He previously expected news on Friday, but feels that there is not an issue that he hasn’t yet heard something. “That is not necessarily a bad sign,” he said.

Time is ticking for the team, which has taken 18 victories this year, including two stage wins in the Tour de France with Pierrick Fedrigo and Thomas Voeckler, as well as the French championship with the latter. The deadline for the renewal of the UCI licence is tomorrow, and so Bernaudeau must find out today what will happen.

The would-be backer has not been named, but speculation is high that it is the Caisse d’Epargne chain of banks, which currently backs a ProTour Spanish team. It indicated that it didn’t want to continue that sponsorship, most likely due to the negative headlines it received due to Alejandro Valverde’s links to Operaction Puerto.

If Bernaudeau’s optimism proves not to be accurate, Cofidis is poised to grab Voeckler and bring him on board. “We are actually in contact [with him],” he said, “but we are also waiting, hanging on for the possible success of Jean-René.”

On Friday Voeckler confirmed that he was speaking to other teams. "I went to see Jean-René to his office this afternoon to take stock of the situation and to inform him of my situation too,” he said, according to RMC. “I explained to him that I was in advanced contact with several teams. […]Anyway, it will be necessary that I make up my mind about my future and I don’t want to give preference to one team or another without making a point with Jean-René.”

He said that he would wait until this evening before making any decision, and that he would stay with his current team if possible. That depends on a call; more than one person will be waiting nervously by their phones today.


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