Euskaltel Euskadi team confirms Alonso deal is off and team will be dissolved
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Monday, September 23, 2013

Euskaltel Euskadi team confirms Alonso deal is off and team will be dissolved

by VeloNation Press at 10:13 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
 
Fourteen riders left without contracts, other team staff also left exposed

Samuel SanchezFollowing reports earlier today that the expected takeover of the current Euskaltel Euskadi team by Formula One driver Fernando Alonso might not go ahead, the team has confirmed that this is indeed the case.

It means that the riders and others who had expected to be part of the new setup have been left without jobs at a very crucial point of the season.

“Euskaltel representatives can not hide their disappointment at the outcome of the negotiation process. It is a sad day for Euskaltel and the team, after the expectations generated by the agreement in principle reached in late August and public statements made at the time by Fernando Alonso and his representatives,” the team said in a statement.

It added that a road map which had laid out terms of the agreement had not been completed, despite efforts to do so.

According to the Spanish publication 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.

However it said that agreement was looking unlikely over the team’s demand 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.

The driver had previously indicated 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. His desire to relocate the team from the Basque country to Asturias was also said to be an issue, as was a request for an audit of the team accounts.

In its statement, the team insisted that it had tried to find an agreement. “Euskaltel has devoted all its efforts to reaching an agreement, doing everything on its part, without any restriction, either economically or whatsoever.” It disputed what it said was mentioned in the press without specifying details; the team was presumably referring to some of the stumbling blocks mentioned by AS.

It said that an agreement in principle was reached on August 31st; this was made public on September 2nd, when both the team and Alonso said that they were finalising terms.

“Euskaltel representatives can not hide their disappointment at the outcome of the negotiation process, after the expectations generated by the tentative agreement that was reached in late August and public statements made by Fernando Alonso and his representatives,” it stated.

Without that agreement, it is clear on what will now happen. “When no agreement is reached, Euskaltel is forced to sadly return to an orderly shutdown process of the project.”

It said that it regretted leaks of what it termed false information that was not conducive to the building of an agreement. However it said that it was not able to elaborate on that aspect of its statement.

“We would like to explain the details of the negotiations, because we put all of us, in all honesty, but we can not because we respect the confidentiality of the negotiations."

"We'd like to explain the details of the negotiations because we did everything on our side with total honesty, but it is not possible because we must respect the confidentiality of the negotiations.”

Fourteen riders are now left without contracts that had extended beyond the end of this season. They are former Olympic champion Samuel Sanchez, as well as 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.

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