Acqua e Sapone competes for the last time in Italy

The end of the Italian season also marked the end of the road for the Acqua e Sapone team, after the main sponsor decided not to back the team in 2013.

Claudio Corioni was the best Acqua e Sapone rider at the GP Beghelli, finishing sixteenth and ending the eight-year sponsorship on a quiet note. The team stood out in the peloton for its bright red clothing, switching to an all-white kit for 2012.

The future of the team was first placed in doubt when the RCS Sport decided not to give Acqua e Sapone a wild card invitation to the Giro d’Italia. Rider turned directeur sportif Stefano Masciarelli – the son of team manager Palmiro Masciarelli, blamed that decision for the demise of the team.

“All the success from over the years has been replaced by huge regret. We’re a special team but also a special family,” he told the French website.

"We’ve never had any explanation (from RCS Sport). It was an absurd decision because our team is better than some of those that were selected. We also always honored the Giro. We were left at home in favor of unknown riders. What interest do you get by inviting teams and riders that finish three hours down overall?”

Most of the riders are still looking for new teams. Carlos Alberto Betancur will ride for AG2R-La Mondiale and Francesco Reda will join Androni Giocattoli. However Danilo Di Luca, sprinter Danilo Napolitano and veteran Stefano Garzelli have yet to find teams for 2013.

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