Team boss expands on Frenchman's release
Alexandre Geniez's non selection for the Tour de France was a minor talking point on the eve of the race but the announcement that he would also part ways with the Argos-Shimano was more of a surprise. The climber was listed on the team's long list and although the basis of the team was to be formed around sprinter Marcel Kittel, Geniez was expected to fill one of the team's nine slots, adding much-needed firepower for the mountains.
"There are two stories," Argos-Shimano's boss Iwan Spekenbrink told Cyclingnews.
"One is the story about the non-selection for the Tour selection the second is over how we evaluate our riders. On the matter of the Tour we looked to the race, our weapons, and the competition and with the riders we have we believe we have the best chances in sprints and in the break. We have a really strong team spirit and that's why we made that selection."
However the decision not re-new the rider's contract at this stage of the season stands out. Scheduled to ride the Vuelta a España later this year, Geniez is now in the shop window with teams publicly in a position to make their intentions clear. Should he perform at the Vuelta, Argos will not be in position to overturn their position. However. Spekenbrink, who has solidly built his team to the cusp of the WorldTour believes that the blame for Geniez lack of progression lies with the set-up, just as much as it does with the rider himself.
"Alex is very talented. He was with our team for three years. In the first two years he made progression. In the last 12 months we've not been able to help him progress. And that's why, as we're building a team for the future, we had to also inform him that for now he will not get a contract for us. It wasn't a nice message for him."
Geniez, 24, who finished fourth in last year's Critérium International, and was in key breaks in both the Dauphine and Tour of California, has already been linked with several teams, including FDJ and Saur-Sojasun.
"We're a team that's growing and we expect him to be in breaks but if you look at his results from last year you have to expect to see more progression but despite his talent we've not been able to help him progress. We had to make a decision. Now we'll wait and see but for now that's our choice."
"Sometimes we have success, sometimes we don't. He's very strong in his head, he's very talented but maybe he's too much focused on his own goals. He's a strong climber but to become a better cyclist you need to have an all-round development and keep working on your speciality. Maybe we couldn't help him on the all-round aspect."