By Bjorn Haake
After five years of sponsoring a cycling team Agritubel will quit the sport at the end of the season. Agritubel, the maker of agricultural equipment, saw its team receive the ProContinetal status in 2005.
The team told Cyclingnews that José Fornes, CEO of Agritubel, has reached his goals, which was to make his brand known on a bigger scale and receive some reputation. Fornes indicated that it is time to turn the page, despite the passion that he still has for cycling. Fornes added that France is going through a financial crisis "that doesn't quite help."
The team is currently looking for a new sponsor to be able to keep riders, staff and management together. The current team has several strong riders, including the brothers Brice and Romain Feillu and Kevin Ista, who won the thrid stage of the Tour Méditerranéen and finished second in the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad.
The first big success for the team was a stage win in the 2006 Tour de France. Nicolas Vogondy became French champion last year and Romain Feillu won the yellow jersey in stage three of the Tour de France.