Cervelo, Garmin interested, but Geox may step up for Lampre
The Tour de France traditionally marks the point of the cycling transfer season but the Giro d'Italia also sees transfer talks begin as teams begin to secure new sponsors and look for team leaders.
On Thursday Liquigas confirmed that they will continue their sponsorship of the team for another two years and signed Ivan Basso and Vincenzo Nibali until 2012.
In recent weeks there has been speculation that Damiano Cunego may leave Lampre-Farnese Vini. Cyclingnews understands that the little Italian has been in contact with both the Garmin-Transitions and Cervelo TestTeams.
Garmin-Transitions team manager Jonathan Vaughters denied that he has made Cunego an offer but said he has been in communication with the rider's agent.
Cunego may seem a surprise objective for both Garmin-Transitions and Cervelo TestTeam. However, he recently took a strong stance against doping and so could suitable for both the teams.
Cunego recently told Gazzetta dello Sport: "I've never been tempted. My family imprinting is too strong. I never got any pocket money as a boy. If I needed some money, I had to earn it. When you grow up like that, you don't think about getting a little extra help."
"In the past it wound me up seeing riders who were not as good as me go twice as fast as me on the climbs. But I've stopped asking myself if someone is ok or not. You can't let it make you crazy. But in the last few days I've rediscovered that if I prepare a race as you have to, the other big names can't drop me."
Cunego finished 17th on stage 19 to Aprica after being dropped on the Mortirolo. He is now 11th overall, at 15:23.
According to a report in the Italian 'Il Giornale' newspaper, Cunego could opt to remain at Lampre because Italian shoe maker Geox is interested in increasing it's sponsorship on the team. The Geox name currently appears on the side of the Lampre jersey but 'il Giornale' suggested that the company is interested in having its own team.
The 'il Giornale' report said that Bjarne Riis has tried to secure Geox as a replacement for Saxo Bank but Geox wants to be linked to an Italian team. The paper also listed Fabian Cancellara, Mark Cavendish, and Andy and Fränk Schleck as possible signings.
The Giro d'Italia is not yet over but it seems the Italian transfer season has already begun.