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Uncertain future for Contentpolis-AMPO team

By:
Cycling News
Published:
November 13, 2009, 15:20 GMT,
Updated:
November 13, 2009, 18:39 GMT
Edition:
First Edition Cycling News, Saturday, November 14, 2009
Adrian Palomares (Contentpolis-Ampo) was part of the team's Grand Tour debut at the Vuelta a España.

Adrian Palomares (Contentpolis-Ampo) was part of the team's Grand Tour debut at the Vuelta a España.

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Team lacks money for UCI-required bank guarantees, but is considering signing Rasmussen

The Spanish Professional Continental Team Contentpolis-Ampo is in danger for the 2010 season, because it is apparently unable to file the 1.2 million Euro bank guarantee required by the International Cycling Union (UCI). The team must make its complete UCI filing by Monday, November 15.

The team has also indicated that if it can solve its financial problems, it would be interested in signing Michael Rasmussen.

Contentpolis-Ampo remains confident, however, that its financial obligation to the UCI will be met. "There is no room for alarm, although there are deadlines for submission of documentation to the UCI that will be respected by us as much as possible," the team told Cyclingnews. "Contentpolis-Ampo maintains strong support from local government, as always. Ampo has also expressed its intention to continue. In times of economic crisis, it is harder than ever to achieve a full economic support, but that does not mean that it is lacking."

The team had planned a change of name for the coming season, as Contentpolis will leave and be replaced by Murcia, the city council and community. Contentpolis is “ designed by the Government of the Region of Murcia (Spain) to propel the regional audio-visual sector’s growth and realisation,” and has sponsored the team for two years. Co-sponsor Ampo, a Basque metallurgy company, is willing to continue its sponsorship.

According to the Spanish website LaVerdad.es, the city council will give the team about 100,000 Euros, while the community will provide less than the 200,000 Euros it gave last year. Antonio Penalver, head of sports for the Murcia Community, denied that the regional government no longer wanted to support the team. “The first year, the City Council and Community accounted for 80 percent of the budget. The plan for 2009 was to provide less and have the difference made up by private sponsors.”

“The situation is complicated,” according to team director Paco Ortuno. "We know that Ampo is interested, but nothing is firm and we must wait to see what happens."

The team has hopes of again receiving wild card status from the UCI, which would enable it to participate in many major races, including the three Grand Tours. If the money for the team can be found, the team would like to increase its public visibility by signing Danish rider Michael Rasmussen, who is coming off a doping-related suspension.

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