Time running out for Euskaltel Euskadi team, Basque squad needs new sponsor or it stops
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Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Time running out for Euskaltel Euskadi team, Basque squad needs new sponsor or it stops

by VeloNation Press at 9:32 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
Negotations ongoing with several companies but no guarantees of success

Igor AntonInvolved in cycling for almost two decades, the Euskaltel Euskadi team is in real danger of fizzling out and has approximately a month and a half to find a new sponsor or it will stop.

The Basque team today issued a communication which spelled out the threat to the squad, making clear that if a solution is not found, that the WorldTour team will come to an end.

The problem is that the various Basque institutions which previously backed the team are now no longer able to do so as a result of the tough economic climate in Spain and the Basque country. The team states that this means its continuity is unsustainable in its current form, and that a new sponsor is needed to fill the gap.

The telecommunications company, which has backed the team since late 1997, stepped up its commitment this year to keep the team going. “Euskaltel, which annually provides 3.5 million euros out of a total budget of 9 million euros, this year has taken the effort to cover the share of the [Basque] institutions so that the team can compete in the elite of world cycling,” stated the team. It added that the situation meant that Euskaltel had to provide double amount this year, 7 million euro.

“Euskaltel alone can not sustain this project,” the team said. “This situation is not viable in the future, so the only way to try to ensure the sustainability of the project is to get a new sponsor.

“That is why, from the moment that the institutions confirmed their inability to maintain its contribution to the budget of the team in 2013, Euskaltel began searching both in our environment – our prime choice - and outside, for a sponsor to cover the gap left by the institutions.”

It said that thus far, it has been unable to seal a deal, due both to the current economic crisis in the Basque country and also a general crisis in sports sponsorship in Europe.

The team does state that negotiations are open with a number of potential sponsors, but that nothing is sealed as yet. It vows to continue this search as long as possible, but with UCI deadlines looming later this year and riders also likely to move to other teams if they can’t be assured of a ride, time is running out.

The team features riders such as Samuel Sanchez, the 2008 Olympic champion, plus the talented climbers Igor Anton and Mikel Nieve. It changed its stance on hiring non Basque riders prior to the start of this year, feeling it was restricting its success.


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