David De La Fuente and Juan Jose Cobo headed to Team Geox?
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Friday, October 01, 2010

David De La Fuente and Juan Jose Cobo headed to Team Geox?

by Jered Gruber at 5:23 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
 
Potential signing would be a homecoming for the two talented, but underperforming climbers

David De La Fuente and Juan Jose Cobo will both celebrate a homecoming of sorts in 2011. De La Fuente (Astana) and Cobo (Caisse d'Epargne) will return to the stable of Joxean Matxin/Mauro Gianetti and their Geox team next season, according to the Diario Montanes and Cyclism'Actu.

Both Cobo and De La Fuente enjoyed great success in Matxin and Gianetti's teams in the past, but moved on to new challenges in 2010, only to encounter arguably the worst seasons of their careers.

Matxin is keen to see his two former riders back within his ranks: "My intention is that they must be part of the new project. Both have shown that they are valuable and are two good professional riders. Contracts have not been finalized yet though, and they still need to meet with Gianetti, but it is clearly understood that both riders must be on our team."

Cobo enjoyed arguably the best season of his career with Fuji-Servetto in 2009. The Spaniard took 9th at the Giro di Lombardia, 10th overall at the Vuelta including a stage win, and 10th at the Vuelta Castilla y Leon plus a stage win along the way. 2010 was a completely different story though. Cobo signed on with Caisse d'Epargne for the 2010 season and has recorded not a single result. In fact, Cobo's season has, without question, been an abject failure. Injuries and sickness have not contributed to the overall picture either. Caisse d'Epargne were of course reluctant to return the rider once hailed as one of the most promising stage racing prospects from Spain, but for 2011, Gianetti will hope to just get a Cobo capable of finishing bike races - after that, perhaps there will be cause to dream for more.

The story of David De La Fuente's 2010 season hasn't been much better, but definitely enough to avoid the moniker of failure. The former contender for the Polka Dot jersey at the Tour de France moved to Astana for 2010 and performed ably as a domestique for Alberto Contador en route to his third overall title in the Grand Boucle. Other than the Tour, De La Fuente can only count top 20 finishes at both of the Canadian ProTour races to his credit this season. De La Fuente's job evaporated with the departure of Contador for Saxo Bank, where he wasn't one of the lucky small army of Spaniards to follow the Pistolero to Bjarne Riis's team, and when De La Fuente was not taken to Saxo Bank, Astana did not renew his contract either. Luckily for the able climber, Matxin has apparently stepped in.

Both riders, 29 years old apiece, will head back to the manager that saw them to their greatest successes, and if they can achieve their form of old, could provide great support for the team's top two riders, Denis Menchov and Carlos Sastre.

Diario Montanes also linked current Footon-Servetto riders, David Gutierrez Gutierrez and Vidal Celis, as likely additions to Matxin's Geox squad.

Matxin lauds the two riders for their efforts this season with Footon-Servetto: "It is intended that they will continue. They both have had good seasons and deserve it."

 

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