Nissan to withdraw from RadioShack team?
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Thursday, December 20, 2012

Nissan to withdraw from RadioShack team?

by VeloNation Press at 6:22 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
 
Luxembourg newspaper states car manufacturer wants to end backing of the team

RadioShack NissanAccording to a report from Luxembourg, the RadioShack team will face a change of name in the 2013 season due to the apparent decision of Nissan to step back from being a title sponsor of the squad.

Daily newspaper Le Quotidien has reported that the car company has decided to relinquish its position as secondary sponsor, although any contractual obligations will presumably have to be met in terms of financial backing already pledged.

If so, the company is in a similar position to Rabobank, which dropped its backing of the Dutch team of that name in October after the USADA report into Lance Armstrong and the US Postal Service was published.

Rabobank said it was concerned by its association with a sport which had faced successive scandals, but has agreed to pay up all existing financial commitments. This could in theory keep the team going without a new backer until the end of 2013.

Le Quotidien doesn’t give a reason for its report about Nissan stepping back but presumably the Armstrong/USPS investigation is again a factor.

The car company agreed to back the US-registered team of Armstrong in 2010, joining up with RadioShack there. Both sponsors then transferred across to the Leopard Trek team prior to the start of the 2012 season, as did several riders and team management such as Johan Bruyneel.

Bruyneel has since lost his place on the team due to his part in the US Postal Service investigation, and faces an arbitration hearing early in 2013.

Le Quotidien suggests that the team’s current third sponsor, Trek, could potentially form the second part of the name for the season ahead.

The team includes big name riders such as Fabian Cancellara, Andy Schleck and Frank Schleck, although the latter is currently sidelined from racing due to his positive test for a diuretic in the Tour de France.

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