Mexico's Tecos Trek has announced that they are to leave cycling after a 54-year history in the sport. Biciclismo reports that the Continental team has been forced to withdraw from the sport due to a combination of financial factors and a lack of support from the Mexican Cycling Federation (FMC).
The team was founded by students at the University of Guadalajara in 1955. Since 1996, it has been registered as a Continental squad on the International Cycling Union's (UCI) America Tour.
"I will not go casting blame, everyone in the team knows the truth," said team president Juan Manuel Navarro Flores. "It hurts to leave this project, but an era is over. It hurts because we become a great team, capable of fighting against the best."
The demise of the squad has been attributed, in part, to a lack of support from sponsors, but also mistakes made by the Mexican Cycling Federation. The team claims that the FMC failed to report the respective victories of Florencio Ramos and Ignacio Sarabia in the Mexican national road race and individual time trial championships to the UCI, an oversight that cost them a position as the number one ranked team in the America Tour.
They pointed at the FMC for the team's second place to Venezuela's Serramenti Pvc Diquigiovanni-Androni Giocattoli in the UCI's America Tour final team rankings.
Tecos Trek also took victories in the Pan-America road race championships through Colombian rider Gregorio Ladino. He also claimed a stage win and the overall title at this month's Tour of Bolivia.
The team had attracted a great deal of attention recently as former-Tour de France yellow jersey wearer Michael Rasmussen returned to competition with the squad in September. The Dane, who had served a two-year ban for lying to anti-doping authorities about his whereabouts in 2007, took part in a series of races with the team, including the Vuelta a Chihuahua, where he won the opening time trial and held the leader's jersey for three days.
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