Report: Sojasun said to be joining up with Cannondale for 2014 season
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Tuesday, December 03, 2013

Report: Sojasun said to be joining up with Cannondale for 2014 season

by VeloNation Press at 8:04 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
 
Heulot and Marino moving across, unclear if others will also do likewise

CannondaleAlthough it seemed certain that the Sojasun project was at an end, it appears that a continuation of some sort may happen in 2014, with reports today that the team name will appear on the Cannondale jersey for next season and at least two staff members will move across to the Italian setup.

The French squad came under financial pressure when negotiations with a secondary sponsor fell through at the end of September. The looming UCI deadline for registration didn’t leave enough time to find something else and after separate talks about a possible merger with NetApp Endura came to nothing, it looked like it was game over.

According to L’Equipe, however, an agreement has been reached between the Sojasun sponsor and the Cannondale team. Under the terms agreed, it appears that former team manager Stéphane Heulot would work alongside team manager Robert Amadio and the rider Jean Marc Marino would also move across to the squad.

A contract is expected to be signed by the end of the week.

It is unclear if additional staff will make the move across. Attempts to reach Cannondale’s press officer have not yet been successful.

Heulot was a pro between 1992 and 2002, wearing the yellow jersey during the 1996 Tour de France and finishing thirteenth and fourteenth overall in 1998 and 1999 respectively.

He set up an amateur club called SuperSport 35 eleven years ago. It became a Pro Continental team called Besson Chaussures-Sojasun in 2009 and then the following season changed name and sponsorship to Saur Sojasun. Its rider Jerome Coppel finished thirteenth in the Tour de France one year later.

The two backers remained on board until last year, with Sojasun the sole sponsor this season. It has competed in the past three Tours de France but despite that exposure, was unable to get sufficient backing to continue in 2014.

This autumn the Cannondale team had talks with Russian businessman Oleg Tinkov about a possible collaboration. Tinkov reportedly wanted to take over ownership of the team and talks broke down; yesterday it was announced that he had purchased Team Saxo Tinkov from longtime owner Bjarne Riis.

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