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An Euskaltel rider signs autographs
Deal with Basque team all but off the table
Spain’s sporting media have reported on Monday that the discussion between Euskaltel and Fernando Alonso’s negotiating teams over the purchase of the team is at a total standstill and the deal will now not take place.
After weeks during which the lifeline thrown to the Euskaltel-Euskadi team by Formula One star Alonso seemed to be the last-minute deal that would save one of Spain’s two ProTour teams, one major hurdle - the purchase, or not, of the team’s current infrastructure and longstanding staff contracts appears to have sunk the whole agreement.
“We’ll keep on trying until the last moment, Fernando and his team are travelling back from [Sunday’s] Grand Prix in Singapore right now, and we’ll have to wait and see,” Kiko García, who would have been the team’s future manager, told Cyclingnews on Monday morning.
“But the whole situation has got really complicated. We’ll have to wait until they get here and then we’ll reach a decision.”
García added that it is still possible that Alonso, who apparently has a major sponsor lined up and ready to invest in cycling, would create a ProContinental team instead.
However, other sources say that it would be equally conceivable that, just as happened in 2009 when Alonso first became interested in sponsoring a cycling team, that the whole project is shelved.
Either way, barring a last-minute breakthrough in the negotiations the chances are that Spanish cycling will lose a huge opportunity to create a team which might have opened up a whole new level of international sports media interest. And after months of uncertainty, following this latest development Euskaltel’s 14 riders under contract for 2014 and in some cases in 2015 may well have even more limited opportunities to race in a top squad next season.