Rabobank’s Mollema describes the sponsor's exit as sad
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Monday, October 22, 2012

Rabobank’s Mollema describes the sponsor's exit as sad

by Shane Stokes at 6:38 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
 
Dutchman one of many to have benefited from the sponsorship

Bauke MollemaDutch bank Rabobank unexpectedly announced last week it would be pulling its sponsorship of cycling team effective 31 December 2012. While it will continue at a reduced level in terms of facilitating a ‘white label’ team, the decision ends a 17 year partnership with professional cycling. The news is something that Rabobank rider Bauke Mollema describes as sad.

“I didn't imagine this would happen,” he told VeloNation after the news was made public. “I understand a sponsor doesn't like negative publicity in their sport all the time, and the USADA report was probably the last straw.

“Rabobank is no longer convinced cycling can be clean and fair, that's sad. I think it can. A lot of things have changed the last years, such as the biological passport, whereabouts, more and stricter controls. It's like we, as young riders have to pay the bill for the things happened in cycling between 1995-2008.”

The bank will complete its financial obligation to the team but wants all its branding removed from clothes and team vehicles. The Rabobank riders were alerted to the news shortly before it was made public but the news hadn’t reached Mollema as yet.

“A journalist told me by phone,” said Mollema. “My team manager Nico Verhoeven called me ten minutes before the bad news came out, but I missed that call.”

Asked about his feeling going into the future the 25 year old said, “For next year things will be the same, the team will continue in 2013. Everybody will be very motivated to show ourselves. What happens after 2013 depends of the team finding a new sponsor. If they will [do so], it might even be a positive change. We will see.”

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