Report: Formula One driver Alonso’s taking over of the Euskaltel Euskadi team could be at an end
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Monday, September 23, 2013

Report: Formula One driver Alonso’s taking over of the Euskaltel Euskadi team could be at an end

by VeloNation Press at 5:40 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
 

Euskaltel EuskadiFernando Alonso’s expected purchase of the Euskaltel Euskadi WorldTour licence plus his taking over of the squad previously run by the Basque Pro Cycling Team (BCPT) setup is said to have come to an end due to disagreements about the deal.

According to Spanish publications Sport.es and AS.com, negotiations have been broken off between the two parties, although the cycling group has said that there is still the possibility of a solution.

On September 2nd Formula One racing driver Alonso confirmed via his website that he intended to buy the team's licence. It had lost its sponsors and was set to stop, but his declaration of interest appeared to save the setup. It meant that the riders who were contracted to the BCPT would have been kept on board.

Alonso is a long time cycling fan and previously spoke about a desire to set up a team based around Alberto Contador. As Contador is currently contracted to Saxo Tinkoff, Alonso said that the team would initially be constructed around former Olympic champion Samuel Sanchez, and would expand in the future.

According to AS.com, the preliminary agreement would have seen Alonso pay two million Euro per year for the three remaining years of the team’s WorldTour licence, and also to cover the existing contracts of fourteen riders. It was thought he would also take the team buses.

The snag is the Euskaltel has reported insisted that Alonso would also respect the contracts of the directors and other team staff, plus retain the current deals with bike supplier Orbea and clothing manufacturer Bioracer.

However the driver has said that he wants the former pro and current Oakley representative Kiko Garcia to head the project, and to be able to appoint his own staff.

Another sticking point is Alonso’s desire to transfer the team from the Basque country to the Asturias, plus his unease about the team’s accounts. He wants to have an audit carried out on the squad.

According to AS.com, the Movistar company has been trying to hamper the transfer of the team to Alonso. It has not elaborated on what has been done to cause the problems, but has said that the reason is that the existence of another team in Spain would boost the price of riders and that some sponsors might prefer to be associated with Alonso.

The newspaper said that Alonso has been so frustrated that he has enquired with the UCI about setting up his own team, but has been told that it would have to start as a Pro Continental team.

It remains to be seen if things can be salvaged, or if Alonso has made a definite decision about walking away. The Basque Pro Cycling Team has been pushing to achieve certain things beyond the purchase of the WorldTour licence and Alonso’s agreement to respect the existing contracts of riders, but could be left with nothing at all if things are not turned around.

The fourteen riders with contracts extending beyond this season are Sanchez, Mikel Nieve, Igor Antón, Mikel Landa, Ion Izaguirre, Romain Sicard, Egoi Martínez, Gorka Verdugo, Juan Lobato, Garikoitz Bravo, Jon Aberasturi, Pello Bilbao, Miguel Minguez and Ruben Perez .

Today’s news comes after As.com quoted Alberto Contador as saying that he wouldn’t move to the team prior to the end of his current agreement with Saxo Tinkoff. “It’s great news that Alonso has the team. I talked to him and he is very excited . But I 'm very happy at Saxo. The team has a very good potential, I have two years left on my contract and I do not see myself changing.”

However he didn’t rule out working together in the future, saying that he had a ‘very good relationship’ with Alonso.

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