Ever since the Cervélo TestTeam was announced last month the rumour mill has been grinding almost constantly with several names being speculatively linked in the media as possible signings for next year. As a reaction to this Peter Donato, the team's Director of Public Relations has taken the unusual action of releasing an official statement to officially put the rumours to rest.
"It is not our habit to react to rumours," the statement reads, "but it seems some media have gone overboard perpetuating stories that have absolutely no basis in reality. We are noticing that most riders we are contacting are very professional about it and do not speak to the media about any impending contracts, while riders we have never spoken to are apparently close to signing with us."
Specifically, the team's press release denies that the team is trying to buy the Olympic champion out of his contract with Euskatel-Euskadi. "The team has have never spoken to Mr. Samuel Sánchez," it continued. "We have no plans to hire him or to buy him out of any existing contract. Not to mention that we would not have the budget to do so anyway, we are a modest team able to attract great riders because they believe in our concept, not because we buy them out of existing contracts."
Sánchez, currently racing in Poland, also denied the rumours. "No, I have a contract until 2010 and I am not thinking about anything else."
Euskatel-Euskadi's press manager, Jesus Maria Aizkorbe Romeo, confirmed today that there are no intentions of Sánchez to leave the team. "What is in the press is lie. For now, he is under contract with us until 2010," he said.
President Miguel Madariaga Barinaga admitted that Euskaltel is a smaller team and sometimes things evolve around money. But the team stays calm. "We are tranquilo, the riders are tranquilo. We think we have done everything right. Of course, I know that riders are a little bit egoistic sometimes. Life is short."
Donato also denies, contrary to recent speculation that the team has ever spoken to Bjorn Leukemans or Thomas Dekker, neither of whom currently has a contract with any team.
More signings are expected to be announced soon, but it seems that these three specifically named riders will not be among them.