Fuji-Servetto team manager Josean Fernández Matxin has revealed that he is looking for "a primary sponsor" for 2010 and has denied rumours of a falling-out between himself and team boss Mauro Gianetti. "I don’t know where these stories have come from," Matxin said of reports of his dispute with Gianetti. "As things stand, we haven’t decided anything. The team’s ProTour licence is held jointly between Gianetti and myself and the relationship between us is as good as ever."
Speaking to biciciclismo.com at the Vuelta, Matxin admitted that he hopes that the problems his team has had in getting invites to races this season will cease in 2010. The team, which was racked by scandals last year when it was backed by Saunier Duval, did not get an invite to the Tour de France despite holding a ProTour licence. The team’s entry to the Vuelta was only guaranteed at the last minute following an appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.
Speaking about his hopes for 2010, Matxin said: "Fuji and Servetto are planning to continue to back us, but we’re looking for a primary sponsor. We want to move the team forwards, which is no easy thing at the moment." With that main sponsor still to be found, Matxin admitted that all of the team’s riders, even those who do have a contract for next season "have freedom to move".
Matxin acknowledged that there is not much he and Gianetti can do to prevent the team’s best riders being cherry-picked by other squads, but doesn’t think they will have much problem filling their roster for next season. "Spanish riders aren’t getting a lot of offers from abroad," he said, hinting at where he’s likely to be looking for new talent if his best riders do move on.
Fredrik Kessiakoff has already left the team for Garmin-Slipstream.
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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).
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