Vivacom - Moto Pfohe press conference - what's in store?
Following a dismal first year the team manager of Vivacom - DataMap appeared on press conferece to reflect on the first season for the team. Despite having renowned riders like Mikel Nieve and Andrey Zeits alongside Bulgarian NC winners Nikolay Mihaylov and Stanislav Zaraliev the team vastly underperformerd and finished last out of 30 teams. The team also failed to place a rider in Top 50. "It's no secret that this year was a year to forget. But this was our first year and for the new season we'll learn from our mistakes"
With Moto Pfohe, the local dealership for Ford, Volvo, Jaguar and Land Rover, comming in the team's sponsorship portfolio as the second main sponsor and naming rights holder, it's been rumoured that the team is set to have huge influx of cash. The team switched from Focus Bikes to Argon 18 with renewals for DT Swiss and Shimano came as well. "I'm pleased to have Argon 18 as our new bike supplier"
With the influx of new sponsorship the team is set to shake things up in terms of roster. Xhiuliano Kamberaj, who was the second best placed overall rider in the team, is set to return to Isostar once the loan ends, but the team boss is keen on retaining the Albanian rider "(The team) don't want to sell him, but I'll try and negotiate for extending the loan agreement. Should we agree, I'll put him in more prominent races". Andrey Zeits and Mikel Nieve, the two highest earners in the team could face huge wage diet due to their underachievement during the season. JJ Rojas, Goran Cerovic, Sylvain Chavanel and Aleksejs Samartonis are set to leave the team while Nako Georgiev might be loaned out to another team.
Asked about the national identity of the team and the fact that the recently promoted Podium Ambition is looking to take back some of the riders, he replied "In my oppinion the partnership between the two teams is likely to end. We're not intending to sell any of our acquired riders to them, but if the price is right we may consider sell. But at the moment the team is looking for new partners - we've established great relationship with Isostar for example. The nationality of the riders was never an issue - as you see the roster is multinational".
With Metinvest - Dacia folding all riders become free agents. Asked about the fate of the team's riders and the chance Aleksandr Pluchkin could join the team his response was "Look, Pluchkin is way over our budget and don't think he will want to join a small team"
The ambitions for the team is to gain promotion for the next season
I really enjoy to see your development plans concerning the restructurement of Vivacom! Your path for the 2017 season seems to be set on much brighter lights than in the tough opening season. Especially letting some underachieving riders go should be the right direction for you, and the mentioned names are good to start with. Great work being done, ivaneurope!
Could Metinvest riders find new home in Vivacom - Moto Pfohe?
With the season over and only the World and National championships to be run there is still a lot of buzz regarding the future of some riders. And one team in particular caught the attention of the MG managers - Metinvest-Dacia. Team owner and principal Avin Wargunnson announced in November that the title sponsor Metinvest will cease funding the team. With no new sponsor searched the team will cease to exist after the end of the 2016 and therefore would render the riders as free agents for the forthcomming season. Many teams are set to poach the riders, but one team is looking the situation very closely.
Vivacom - Moto Pfohe's team manager ivaneurope was previously asked if Metinvest's star Aleksandr Pluchkin could join the team, his replay was "not at present". The reasons were his huge salary, the high demand and the current staus of his team. However he later said that he would possibly bid for other Metinvest riders that could boost the squad in their bid to improve from their dismal first season. "I'm following the situation closely, but right now I can't do anything, because the transfer season needs to start".
No names have been mentioned, but rumours circulate that the team could take Eduard Grosu and pair him with Oleg Bedros and Marius Petraches - the two Romanians who are already in the team and are set to return for 2017. Several riders could face the chop at the end of the season to make room for other riders. Riders who didn't score points - Aleksei Saramotins, Sylvain Chavanel, Maxime Le Montagner, Goran Cerovic and Daan Rijntjes as well as JJ Rojas are certainly on the list with potential releases, while Nako Georgiev could be loaned out. It's also unclear if Clive Ebjer will return with the team. So far Andrey Zeits, Mikel Nieve, Oleg Bedros, Marius Petrache, Jan StÃ¶hr and Marildo Yzeiraj are most likely to be retained. The main priority of the team is to extend the loan of Xhuliano Kamberaj.