Cobo the Hobo is still looking for a team but if he’ll take a pay cut there’s room at Movistar. Juan Jose Cobo, the winner of the 2011 Vuelta a Espana, has reportedly already thrown out all his free Geox footwear.
The globe-trotting Mauro Gianetti did everything he could to find a new sponsor once GEOX pulled the plug at the last moment. But despite hustling far and wide and even in Venezuela, he couldn’t come up with the money.
Movistar doesn’t have that kind of cash for Cobo, either. Eusebio Unzue, Movistar team manager, told Spanish newspaper El Pais, “We have already covered the budget, we would have to ask Telefonica for an increase.” Yup, they need Bisonte Bucks.
“If Cobo can’t find another team, obviously we would take him,” said Unzue. Sure, who doesn’t want a Spanish-speaking grand tour winner on their squad? Who knows what star rider Alejandro Valverde will deliver in 2012 after his two year doping suspension. The hair regrowth has been successful but race results are yet to be posted.
Cobo rode for Unzue’s team, then Caisse d’Epargne, back in 2010. He was suffering from depression at the time and had trouble with training and results. After what he’s been through with GEOX, most people would be depressed. How many riders win a grand tour and then beg for a ride and take a possible pay cut? Maybe he should ask Alexander Vinokourov for a loan, since the Kazakh says he hands out money right and left.
The better career decision for Cobo would still seem to be Bjarne Riis’ Saxo Bank Squad. The Dane claims he has no more euros in the budget but he did just cut three riders loose a month ago. Bringing in Cobo would solve two major problems at once.
First, Alberto Contador has repeatedly and publicly asked for another climber to strength his chances of winning another Tour de France. Second, Cobo is a perfect fall-back option if the COurt for Arbitration rules against Contador in January. Those odds are at least 50-50 but Cobo would at least give Saxo Bank at shot at the Vuelta or perhaps a strong showing in the Giro.
A rider like Cobo could really benefit from the guidance of Bjarne Riis, who has always shown an ability to take quality riders to even great performances.
Twisted SPoke is still hoping that Cobo heads to Denmark, not Spain. It might be colder but the end results are what really matter.