Xavier Florencio signs with Geox-TMC for 2011
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Monday, January 10, 2011

Xavier Florencio signs with Geox-TMC for 2011

by Conal Andrews at 9:54 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
 
Spanish squad training in Tarragona, launch on January 31st

Xavier FlorencioThe former Clásica de San Sebastián winner Xavier Florencio has finally picked up a team for 2011, leaving it late to secure a ride with Geox-TMC for this season.

The 31 year old Spaniard was announced today as the final addition to the team, and is expected to perform well by the manager Mauro Gianetti. “He is an experienced rider and a very versatile one, with skills suited to both one-day races and to stage races. With his incorporation we have closed the line-up,” he said.

Florencio turned professional back in 2001 with the ONCE squad, the moved to Relax-Fuenlabrada for two seasons in 2004. His move to Bouygues Telecom in 2006 coincided with his biggest result, namely that surprise sprint victory in San Sebastian. He competed for the Cervélo Test Team in 2009 and 2010, finishing third in the Tour du Limousin and fifth in the GP Miguel Indurain in his first season with the squad, and took sixth in the Circuit de la Sarthe this year.

Florencio was due to start this year’s Tour de France for the team but was left out of the squad at the last moment after it was disclosed that he had used a product containing the banned product ephedrine to treat a saddle sore. The team found out about its use the night before the Tour started; Florencio should have consulted with team doctors before taking anything, and risked a positive test had he started the race.

He eventually returned to competition but when the team folded, he had difficulty finding another ride for 2011. That situation has now been resolved and he will be keen to get the next stage of his career underway.

Team training in Spain

The Spanish squad is currently preparing for the season in Vilaseca, Tarragona in Spain. Team leaders Denis Menchov and Carlos Sastre are there along with the other riders, plus Gianetti and directeur sportif Josean Matxin.

The riders have been there since Saturday and will continue working together until January 16th. According to Gianetti, things are going well.

“We are very pleased to have chosen this area of the Mediterranean. We enjoy good temperatures and that facilitates the training of riders, particularly those who need to do a high volume to reach the best conditions for the first races of the season.”

The team was aiming to secure a ProTeam licence but was ranked outside the top 15 for 2011. Clocked up as 17th, it was passed over in favour of other teams and so must make do with a Pro Continental licence. That led to tensions and a reported takeover bid by others trying to get rid of Gianetti but, for now at least, he appears safe.

Holding a Spanish licence but backed by an Italian footwear company, the team presentation will be held in the latter country on January 31st. It will take place in the town of Montebelluna in Treviso. Until then the team has said that it will keep the design of the new jersey under wraps.

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