Becca dismisses RadioShack sponsorship withdrawal speculation

RadioShack-Leopard team owner Flavio Becca has called a report that the name sponsor will leave he team at the end of the season “pure speculation.”  He acknowledged that the sponsorship contract expires this year, but said that no one from the company has been in touch with him to discuss it.

Becca also was not satisfied with Andy Schleck's explanation of an alleged drunken episode and warned his troubled captain that he needed to bring in good results in races, as does the whole team.

On Tuesday, L'Equipe reported that RadioShack would not renew its sponsorship, due to a combination of corporate financial difficulties and problems within cycling and the team itself.

That story “is pure speculation,” Becca told  “We don't yet know whether RadioShack will continue next year. What is sure is that the season will continue for a long time. We are constantly having discussions with our sponsors.

“The team must prove itself. With good results, we can give sponsors a reason to be involved with us. No one from RadioShack has contacted me to discuss an end of our co-operation.”

Becca confirmed that a new sponsor will be introduced this spring, but not a major one. “Instead it will be a smaller investor, who we will present in April or May. This has absolutely nothing to do with a possible withdrawal by RadioShack. It simply deals with a further sponsor who wants to join us.”

The team manager showed his dissatisfaction with Schleck's comments on his behavior in a Munich airport hotel after Tirreno-Adriatico, where he was alleged to have drunk in public. In a television interview on Monday night, Schleck called the charges “ridiculous” and refused to discuss it further.

“Why didn't he open up and give a detailed explanation of what happened on the evening in question?” Becca asked. “This was not entirely satisfactory.”

He concluded by warning both Schleck and his whole team: “In the end only results count, that applies to every pro cyclist.”

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