David Gutierrez continues with Mauro Gianetti's team
Team Geox-TMC has announced the signing of Juan José Cobo from Caisse d'Epargne for the 2011 season. The move represents something of a homecoming for Cobo as he spent his first six seasons as a professional with the Saunier Duval team managed by Gianetti.
After his largely unsuccessful parenthesis with Caisse d'Epargne in 2010, Juan José Cobo is pleased to be back in the fold and hopes the move will help him to regain his appetite for the sport.
"It's been a tough season for me from a psychological point of view, and I'm a rider who needs to feel stable to be able to give my very best," Cobo said. "I'm returning to the directors who brought me to my top level. We each know one another's good and bad points and I'm sure this will help to bring me back to the performances of the three years before this past bad season."
Highlights of Cobo's first spell under Gianetti's stewardship include overall victory at the 2007 Tour of the Basque Country and a stage win at the 2009 Vuelta a España.
He was also credited with stage victory at Hautacam at the 2008 Tour de France after the disqualification of teammate Leonardo Piepoli, who tested positive for CERA. The Saunier Duval team withdrew from that Tour ahead of stage 8, following the announcement of Riccardo Riccò's positive test for CERA.
"As all of us know the sporting quality Cobo has," team manager Mauro Gianetti said. "He has already shown he can ride with the best, in the mountains as well as in the time trials, and he will be a great helper for the team leaders."
Geox-TMC has also confirmed that David Gutierrez will ride for the team next season. The Spaniard made his professional debut with Gianetti's Footon-Servetto in 2010 and he will continue with the squad in its revamped form next year.
"David Gutierrez has earned his continuity with the team," Gianetti said. "He showed a professional, serious attitude all season, that's why he deserves this opportunity."
Denis Menchov and Carlos Sastre will lead Geox-TMC in 2011, while other notable names in the line-up include Mauricio Ardila, David de la Fuente and Daniele Colli.