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Gianetti: I’ve got two sponsorship options

Mauro Gianetti is still with the team despite rumours that he had been forced out

Mauro Gianetti is still with the team despite rumours that he had been forced out (Image credit: Bettini Photo)

Geox-TMC manager Mauro Gianetti has revealed that he has two potential sponsors lined up to replace his team’s current main backer. Gianetti had already admitted that he has been negotiating with the Venezuelan tourist board, and has now told the C-Cycling blog that he is also working on a possible deal with what he described as "a good, serious company that we know very well".

"We have two concrete deals right now. One of them is the one with the Venezuelan government, the other one is more a regular one with a big international company as the main sponsor," Gianetti said.

"We have not signed anything yet, but we hope to close the deal very soon. It could be any day now. For me it doesn’t matter which deal we end up taking. The Venezuelan one is a very interesting project with the government and the other one is with a good, serious company that we know very well. We will see."

The mooted Venezuelan deal would run under the name Venezuela – País de Sueño (Venezuela – country of dreams), the national tourist board’s promotional slogan. As well as the pro road team, it could also feature mountain bike and track teams. The final go-ahead on the project is reported to lie with Venezuelan president Hugo Chávez.

Although Gianetti has already lost the services of Denis Menchov, Mauricio Ardila and Fabio Duarte for next season, he should be able to count on Vuelta winner Juan José Cobo leading any new team. With as many as 50 professionals still looking for a job for next season in Spain alone, Gianetti won’t find it hard to fill spaces on his roster if one of his two sponsors does give the team new life.

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Peter Cossins has written about professional cycling since 1993 and is a contributing editor to Procycling. He is the author of The Monuments: The Grit and the Glory of Cycling's Greatest One-Day Races (Bloomsbury, March 2014) and has translated Christophe Bassons' autobiography, A Clean Break (Bloomsbury, July 2014).