Although Geox has pulled its sponsorship from the Geox-TMC squad, the future of the women's team sponsored by Geox company Diadora seems brighter. The Diadora-Pasta Zara-Manhattan team looks as though it may be able to continue, as it announced the signing of three new riders today.
Earlier in the week, the team, which under the UCI Continental Team rules had been registered in the USA for 2011, announced that it was returning to its Italian roots, with the signing of Giorgia Bronzini, who this year added a second road world champion's jersey to her 2010 road and 2009 points race titles.
Alessandra d'Ettorre and Giada Borgato will be joining Bronzini from her old team Colavita Forno d'Asolo, and will be providing her with sprint support. D'Ettorre has worked as lead-out woman for Bronzini both on Colavita and in the Italian National Team - and Borgato, who is just 22, has ridden alongside Bronzini on her previous two teams.
The third signing announced today, Rossella Callovi, is likely to play a different role in the team. The 2009 junior road world champion rode for Mcipollini-Giambenini this year, coming second in the GP Valladolid round of the road World Cup before she was forced to pull out the second stage of the Giro Donne. Callovi's signing represents the team's renewed commitment to supporting the development of young Italian talent.
"Rossella Callovi is one of the biggest talents that Italian women's cycling has produced in recent years and was able to compete alongside the world's top athletes from the start," said the team's owner, Maurizio Fabretto. "It was disappointing when she had to drop out of this year's Giro Donne, and she had a difficult remainder of the season. But in stage and tough day races, she is there."
Callovi is looking forward to riding in her new team, and continuing to develop as a rider.
"I still have a lot to learn, both from the girls who have more experience than me, and from the team staff," she said.
"I hope to have better luck than this year and especially to solve the health problems that caused me to end my season early. As to my objectives for next season, I understand my limits in stage races and would like to have some strong results in the shorter races that suit me."
These new signings bring the Diadora riders confirmed for 2012 to 10 - Alona Andruk, Giada Borgato, Giorgia Bronzini, Rossella Callovi, Inga Cilvinaite, Alessandra d'Ettorre, Giulia Donato, Amber Pierce and Francesca Stefani. 1998 Road World Champion Diana Ziliute will stay on as Directeur Sportif, but there is still no news about where her co-DS Manel Lacambra, or the nine riders whose contracts have not been renewed - including climbers Claudia Häusler and Mara Abbott and American sprinter Shelley Olds - will end up for 2012.