Former ONCE pro and ex-Olympian Francisco José "Kiko" Garcia Armendaris has confirmed that he is in advanced negotiations with F1 star Fernando Alonso to act as team manager for the former Euskaltel-Euskadi squad in 2014.
García, currently working as head of European marketing for Oakley, acted as a link in the negotiations between Alonso and Euskaltel-Euskadi during the build-up to the Vuelta a España start in Galicia. The team announced just prior to the race that it would fold due to an inability to find a title sponsor.
Garcia told Cyclingnews he may have a key role in the team next season - as manager. "Discussions are on hold because of an imminent Formula One Grand Prix," - in Italy this weekend - García told Cyclingnews on Thursday. "However, they are going to continue next week."
Negotiations for the licence purchase are moving fast, however, because all the documentation for the WorldTour licence has to be handed over to the UCI by the end of September.
Now working for Oakley, García was a former pro with ONCE in the 1990s and also rode in the 1992 Olympics. He has also worked for Radio Tour and acted as translator for the Vuelta organisers Unipublic.
It has been widely reported that 14 Euskaltel-Euskadi riders have a valid contract with the team for 2014 and some for 2015, too. According to Spanish radio, Igor Anton, one of Euskaltel-Euskadi best-known riders, has confirmed he is now staying with the team next season. Anton led the Vuelta back in 2010 until he crashed out at the foot of the Peña Cabarga climb and won a spectacular stage into Bilbao in the 2011 Vuelta.