By Gregor Brown Despite suffering from a doping scandal during the Tour de France and the threat of...
By Gregor Brown
Despite suffering from a doping scandal during the Tour de France and the threat of losing his title sponsor, Claudio Corti's team will continue as Barloworld in 2009 with few changes. The team manager explained that the South African sponsor will be the main name on the jerseys of Robbie Hunter and his other star riders for 2009.
"We have the chance to add a sponsor, but the budget is there and we are going on. The team is going on with the name Barloworld on the jersey for 2009, not much is changing," Corti confirmed to Cyclingnews from his office yesterday Saturday morning.
Barloworld announced it would end its sponsorship following the doping case of Moisés Dueñas. The French Gendarmerie escorted Dueñas out of the Tour the morning after the rest day in Pau, July 16, when informed of his positive test for Erythropoietin (EPO) stemming from stage four's time trial in Cholet. A search of Dueñas' room revealed banned substances.
"You know, at the beginning the reactions were that way," Corti said. "They confirmed their sponsorship for 2009. I can have another name, but the team will still be Barloworld."
His team performed well this fall with wins in GP Nobili Rubinetterie, Coppa Bernocchi and Coppa Placci. In the Tour of Britain, it is currently in second overall with British favourite, Steve Cummings. Corti counts on Cummings and others for a strong 2009 season, but may add one or two additional riders.
"My budget is limited. I am working to have a professional and serious team. There are a few cyclists leaving and maybe we will have one arrive ... we will have a good team. We have not yet announced any names; I will take on two young riders.
"We were very unlucky this year, but we proved to have a great team with John-Lee Augustyn, Chris Froome, Cummings, Geraint Thomas, who will race more on the road and focus on time trials, Mauricio Soler, Hunter... We will be able to show a lot in 2009. I think with Soler, Froome and Austin can do great things in the stage races."
Tour of Britain ends this Sunday in Liverpool – Cummings' hometown – after a testing stage that finishes in Drumlanrig Castle on Saturday. Barloworld will also race the two one-day classics, Paris-Bruxelles and GP de Fourmies, this weekend.
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