Alonso says work on a new team begins ‘from tomorrow morning,’ will debut in 2015
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Monday, September 23, 2013

Alonso says work on a new team begins ‘from tomorrow morning,’ will debut in 2015

by Shane Stokes at 6:58 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
Formula One driver issues statement after negotiations end with Euskaltel Euskadi team owners

Samuel SanchezFernando Alonso’s move to take over the Euskaltel Euskadi team may have unravelled due to the breakdown of negotiations between him and the Basque squad, but he has pledged to continue working on plans to own a cycling team.

The Formula One driver, who is a longtime fan of cycling, is friends with Samuel Sanchez [right] and Alberto Contador and who regularly uses a bike as part of his training regime, has said that things will take a year longer than expected, but that by 2015 he will have his own team in place.

Alonso issued a statement via his Twitter account today, hours after the Euskaltel Euskadi team confirmed media reports that the expected deal would not now occur.

“We've tried it until the end but it's just been impossible to have a cycling team in 2014,” Alonso wrote. “My passion for the sport, my will to cooperate and do my bit remains intact, so this is only the beginning of the future.

“From tomorrow morning we are going to work on building, if needs be from scratch, a team we can be proud of. The best cycling team we can form, respecting this sport and with humility.”

Spanish publication AS stated earlier today that the breakdown in negotiations happened for several reasons. Alonso was said to have been prepared to pay two million euro per year for the next three years to buy the Euskaltel Euskadi team licence, and also to retain the fourteen riders who were under contract beyond the end of this year.

AS outlined what it said were the complicating factors. The first cited reason was an apparent demand by the team that Alonso would also respect the contracts of the directors and other team staff, as well as retaining the current deals with bike supplier Orbea and clothing manufacturer Bioracer.

The driver had previously indicated that he wanted 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.

However the team has disputed what was written in the press, without specifying which aspects of the story were untrue. It insisted that it had “devoted all its efforts to reaching an agreement, doing everything on its part, without any restriction, either economically or whatsoever.”

It refuted suggestions that it had hampered 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,” it stated.

Alonso didn’t elaborate on the stumbling blocks, but reaffirmed his desire to set up another structure. “As you may have observed I’m quite tenacious, and above all, I love and value this sport a lot,” he stated.

“It possesses and transmits, as I said many times, values that I share; a set of values that I would like to help promote.”

One issue that he and others would have faced was a race against time to have everything in place for next season. In that sense, delaying a involvement in cycling until the following year does give him and others the chance to be more methodical and organised.

He sees this as a silver lining. “Cycling and its fans deserve the best and now we have time on our side, time in which we’ll be very attentive to any circumstance that we can learn from and, above all, that can make us better for next year.

“It wasn’t to be, but it will be! This adventure has only just begun. Let’s look forward to 2015!” he concluded.


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