Geox takes over Footon ProTour team, welcomes Cunego
Italian footwear company Geox will take over sponsorship of ProTour team Footon-Servetto in 2011 and welcome Italy's Damiano Cunego.
Geox management and Swiss Mauro Gianetti, according to Italian paper La Gazzetta dello Sport, signed yesterday a five-year agreement worth €50 million.
Gianetti has held the Spanish ProTour licence since 2005 with team Saunier Duval. After the Riccardo Riccò doping scandal at the 2008 Tour de France, the team changed sponsors to Fuji and this year, Footon-Servetto.
In addition to Geox, Footon and Servetto will continue to sponsor Gianetti's team for 2011.
Geox owner, Mario Moretti Polegato is one of the wealthiest executives in Italy. The company based in Treviso had €865 million in sales last year, 60 percent coming from abroad. He joined Lampre as a sub-sponsor in March.
Instead of re-renewing their contracts, both Geox and Cunego will leave Lampre. Lampre has already signed Andrey Kashechkin and will likely welcome Michele Scarponi (fourth at the Giro d'Italia).
Cunego won the 2004 Giro d'Italia and the young riders white jersey at the 2006 Tour de France. In the last two years, he has aimed at for one-day wins and smaller stage races, scoring wins in the Giro del Trentino, Giro di Lombardia, the Amstel Gold, two stages of last year's Vuelta a España.
He will be joined by Italy's Fabio Felline, who made his debut in the Tour de France this month with Footon. The Italian newspaper also reported that Geox may sign 2009 Giro d'Italia winner Denis Menchov and HTC-Columbia's Michael Rogers.
Daniele Nardello and Stefano Zanini will remain as sports directors, joined by Claudio Corti. Corti ran team Saeco and, until last year, team Barloworld.
Both Corti's and Gianetti's sons (Marco and Noe) will likely continue in with Geox.
Today, Cunego celebrated the birth of his son Cristain. He is the second child for Cunego and his wife Margherita.