Breaking news that Geox-TMC’s future may be in doubt after failing to meet the UCI deadline for their bank guarantee was almost immediately followed by even bigger news: Team Sky has decided to buy the distressed property.
According to De Telegraaf, Sky is taking the extraordinary step of simply purchasing Geox, lock, stock, barrel and riders.
“We saw an opportunity we could not resist,” said Sky Principal David Brailsford. “With Wiggins, Froome and now the addition of winner Juan Jose Cobo, we have next year’s Vuelta all but won.”
The murky and confusing financial arrangements between the Geox-TMC team and its holding company Club Deportivo Bike Live apparently opened an opportunity for Sky to swoop in.
“Obviously, we have the cash. It wasn’t a question of money,” said Brailsford. “Geox was a mess quite frankly, but the talent is there. We’re thrilled to buy up the sporting assets.” A last minute bid by Katusha to buy the struggling Spanish squad for their new sprinter Oscar Friere apparently failed.
According to reports, the holding company has already threatened to sue Geox for breach of contract and plans to appeal to the Court for Arbitration in Sport. In a statement to the media, Club Deportivo Bike Live said they will “ask Geox for the execution of contracts and some compensation regarding damages before the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Lausanne.”
It may already be too late for that legal action. Once the rumors of financial instability began to circulate, Sky saw an opportunity to strengthen what is already a powerhouse ProTour Squad. This morning, Bradley Wiggins tweeted “A big welcome to my new mate El Bisonte.”
Geox-TMC manager Mauro Gianetti could not be reached for comment. However, it appears the team of the steaming shoe iron may soon be headed to London.