Joxean Fernández Matxin, former Scott-American Beef sports director, has found a new sponsor and announced yesterday that "the team is already registered [as a ProTour team] with the UCI." According to Diario Vasco, the team is currently labelled GM Bike, but the Basque did not reveal the real backer of the squad.
"The sponsor is still negotiating about the brand that will sponsor the team and we have of course to respect this wish," Matxin said.
Recent speculations located a possible sponsor first in Italy, later in Mexico and finally in Austria. Matxin now revealed that the team will have a Spanish license and that its headquarters will be in Cantabria, Spain.
After three months of searching for a sponsorship, Matxin said, "I feel like having lost three years of my life. I am very tired and stressed. Until now, I have not begun to think about the squad. Give me time, let's go step by step. The most important thing was that the project continued."
As to the team roster, he only announced that "for the moment we will keep the squad of the last season, as we have a lot of riders who still have contracts." To be exact, there are twelve: Arkaitz Durán, Beñat Albizuri, David Cañada, Javier Mejías, Eros Capecchi, Ermanno Capelli, David de la Fuente, Jesús del Nero, Josep Jufre, José Ángel Gómez Marchante, Héctor González and Alberto Fernández de la Puebla.
Since the team will be a ProTour team, more riders will have to join it according to International Cycling Union (UCI) rules. Three of them could be Iker Camaño, who finished his season winning the Vuelta a Chihuahua time trial, Juan José Cobo and José Alberto Benítez.
According to biciciclismo.com, another rider signed a one-year contract yesterday: Riccardo Serrano. The 30-year-old became professional in 2003 and rode for Cafés Baque, Kaiku and since 2007 for team Tinkoff. As he did not get any extension with Katusha, the continuation of Tinkoff, he decided to sign with Matxin's new team. But this signing is still to be confirmed. (MP)