David de la Fuente is one of a number of Geox-TMC riders still without a contract for 2012 following the team’s disbandment. The Spaniard is continuing to train at home in Cantabria but has admitted that he has no firm offers for the coming season.
“I don’t have anything, I’m waiting for replies. The prospects are bad,” de la Fuente told Marca.
Geox announced its decision to withdraw from cycling sponsorship in late October, although the management team of Mauro Gianetti and Joxean Matxin continued their search for a replacement deep into the winter. “We were convinced that Gianetti and Matxin would have found something,” de la Fuente said. “We were too optimistic, but I don’t regret anything.”
In spite of his current predicament, de la Fuente has trained throughout the winter. Without a contract and with no idea of when – or if – his season will start, however, he has been forced to train without any structure.
“From the moment the season finished, I haven’t gone three days without touching the bike,” he said. “Now I’m going out every day, but not for more than three hours because seeing as I don’t have a team and I don’t have objectives. But I want to be ready in case somebody has a place for me, either now or later on.”
Part of Alberto Contador’s Astana team at the 2010 Tour de France and a key lieutenant for Juan José Cobo as he rode to victory at the 2011 Vuelta a España, the 30-year-old de la Fuente admitted that he was surprised to find himself without a team. Cobo is himself yet to confirm his destination for 2012.
“I’m living a sad situation, I’m not so bad as to have no team,” de la Fuente said. “I’d never have imagined that it could have happened to me. I’m starting to prepare myself mentally for the possibility of retirement, but not all doors are closed yet.