Rabobank renamed Blanco Pro Cycling Team as hunt for sponsors continues
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Thursday, December 13, 2012

Rabobank renamed Blanco Pro Cycling Team as hunt for sponsors continues

by Shane Stokes at 8:31 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
 
Plugge takes over as team director, Brainwash withdraws as co-sponsor of women’s team

Blanco Pro Cycling TeamAs reported last week, the former Rabobank team has been rebranded with a holding name, much along the lines of the 1T4i squad last year, as it awaits developments in its hunt for a new title sponsor.

The men’s squad will be known as Blanco Pro Cycling Team until such time as a new backer is on board; negotiations are ongoing and are said to be productive.

As things stand, Rabobank has committed to seeing out the existing contract; the team has said today that if a new backer is found over the next year, the team will continue beyond that. Otherwise, it will stop at the end of 2013.

The women’s team will also have a slight rename, although it will continue to be backed until 2016. It will be known as the Rabobank Liv/Giant Team and will be centred around Marianne Vos. In fact, a foundation set up by her will administer the team.

Brainwash, which was a co-sponsor on the 2012 team, has announced that it is withdrawing. It will also drop its backing of the Brainwash Ladies Tour.

Rabobank will also continue supporting what will be titled the Rabobank Development Team for youth riders, with this backing running until 2016. It will also provide funding for the MTB team until the end of 2013, with that squad to be known as the Giant Offroad Team.

The whole structure was plunged into uncertainty on October 19th when Rabobank announced that it was walking away after many years of supporting pro cycling. It referred to the doping by Lance Armstrong and the US Postal Service team, saying that it was ‘no longer convinced that the international professional world of cycling can make this a clean and fair sport.’

This decision led to criticism from a range of people, including pro rider David Millar, while other sponsors such as Lotto and Belisol said that they would remain in the sport and push for a better future.

Today’s team news is accompanied by an announcement about a change of leadership. Harold Knebel will resign as director on the 31st of December, while the team’s communications manager Richard Plugge will step into that role from that point on.

Knebel has been in that position since March 1st 2008 and has overseen many successes.

The team will unveil its new jersey later today. Before then, the team’s likely new look has been leaked on the internet, and is pictured above.

- Jersey shot courtesy of @Tourdejose

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