Motorsport star Alonso said to be buying Euskaltel Euskadi licence, setting up new team
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Monday, September 02, 2013

Motorsport star Alonso said to be buying Euskaltel Euskadi licence, setting up new team

by Shane Stokes at 7:14 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
 
Samuel Sanchez one of riders to be involved

Samuel SanchezFormula One racing driver Fernando Alonso is believed to have swooped on the WorldTour licence held by the departing Euskaltel Euskadi team, moving into the sport several years after he first expressed an interest in doing so.

The Spaniard, who has long been a fan of cycling and who uses the bike as part of his physical fitness regime for motor sport, is understood to be on the verge of announcing the deal, which will see him building a team around former Olympic champion Samuel Sanchez [pictured].

According to El Periodico, the project has a budget of six million euros, with Alonso’s personal sponsors expected to cover that amount. The agreement is on the verge of being finalised, with only minor details to be ironed out.

The Euskaltel Euskadi team recently confirmed that it had been unable to find a new backer and would be forced to stop.

In addition to Sanchez, it is thought that some of the other riders from the current team will be retained. It remains to be seen which other big names will be involved. The team’s strongest riders include Igor Anton, Mikel Landa, Mikel Nieve and the Izagirre brothers.

There has long been a link between motor racing and cycling, with current and former riders such as Alain Prost, Michael Schumacher, Jensen Button and Alonso amongst those who used bikes for training and who have developed an interest in the sport.

He is a two time F1 world champion and currently races with the legendary Ferrari team. He is reportedly the sport’s highest earner, securing an estimated $30 million from Ferrari alone. He also has endorsement deals with other companies.

Alonso previously said that he was interested in setting a cycling team up around Alberto Contador, but the Spaniard is currently contracted to Team Saxo Tinkoff. After Contador signed that deal, Alonso said that he hoped the two would work together at some point in the future.

Once the deal is finalised, Alonso will not be the first F1 driver to own a cycling team; the 1992 champion Nigel Mansell is the owner of the UK Youth squad.


Also see: Fernando Alonso confirms Euskaltel Euskadi licence purchase, promises to run transparent team
 

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