Vuelta winner hopes to target Tour
Vuelta a España winner Juan José Cobo has confirmed he will remain with his Geox-TMC squad for another year. He made the announcement at the presentation of the Criterium de Alcobendas today.
The 30-year-old entertained offers from several WorldTour teams following his emergence as a Grand Tour champion, but ultimately decided to remain with the organisation of Mauro Gianetti.
Despite his team not being in the WorldTour this season, and according to the UCI, not applying to be in the sport's top tier of teams next year, Cobo still has aspirations of contesting the Tour de France.
"My plans are to ride the Tour, and then depending on how much strength I have left, I will participate in the Vuelta a España, because I would be thrilled to start with bib number one," Cobo said.
It wouldn't be the first time at the Tour de France for Cobo, who finished 19th overall in 2007. He was second on the 2008 10th stage to Hautacam, where he and Saunier Duval teammate Leonardo Piepoli crushed the competition. Cobo never had the opportunity to finish that year's Tour because the entire team left the race after Riccardo Ricco tested positive for EPO-CERA.
Cobo was promoted to winner of the Hautacam stage after Piepoli too was found positive for the same drug in tests performed after the race was over.
Yet the Geox team's start at the Tour de France is far from assured. They were not granted a discretionary invitation this year, and sponsorship questions have prevented the team from strengthening its roster in order to attract the attention of the Tour organisers.
Cobo will star in the Criterium de Alcobendas along with Alessandro Petacchi (Lampre), Vincenzo Nibali and Peter Sagan (Liquigas-Cannondale) on October 22.
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