Cycling

Confusion reigns as Stefano Garzelli claims Mitchelton-Scott have signed Manuela Fundacion deal

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Cameron Meyer of Australia and Team Mitchelton-SCOTT / Simon Yates of United Kingdom and Team Mitchelton-SCOTT / during the 22nd Santos Tour Down Under 2020, Stage 2 a 135,5km stage from Woodside to Stirling 422m / TDU / @tourdownunder / #UCIWT / on Janua

Image credit: Getty Images

ByPete Hall
21/06/2020 at 09:34 | Updated 21/06/2020 at 12:25

Stefano Garzelli had added to the saga surrounding Australian cycling team Mitchelton-Scott after claiming a sponsorship deal has been signed with Manuela Fundacion.

Earlier in the week it was reported Mitchelton-Scott pulled out of the deal, but Garzelli - who is directly involved in the project - said that was not the case.

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"I want to clarify everything as soon as possible, my image is involved as well as that of the Fundación Manuela," Garzelli, the 2000 Giro d'Italia champion, told Cicloweb.

Gerry Ryan's words yesterday were a cold shower, and totally unjustified. The agreement is all right, it is concluded, signed and regular. And as far as we are concerned, we go ahead.

GreenEDGE Cycling, the holding company that runs Mitchelton-Scott, only announced the partnership with the Spanish non-profit last Friday, but that deal was said to have fallen through.

“We felt a strong initial connection with Mr Francisco Huertas, the Manuela Fundación and their noble aims,” team founder and principal Gerry Ryan said.

However, as the negotiations have evolved after the initial announcement on Friday, we have concluded that the relationship will not proceed. We wish Mr. Francisco Huertas and the Manuela Fundación all of the best for the future.

Confusion over the deal intensified on Wednesday after Emilio Rodríguez, the Manuela Fundación’s head of sport, told Spanish state news agency EFE that they had come into the deal as owners, not sponsors.

Ryan, however, insisted he was still in charge.

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