Pro-Continental squad, Caja Rural, has announced that it will have a second sponsor, the bank’s insurance company, to add the team’s jersey. As of Thursday 21st February, the team will be known as Caja Rural-Seguros RGA.
Seguros RGA already had a one-off sponsorship for the team during the 2012 Vuelta a España, but has now decided to back the team throughout the year.
The news come shortly after Spain’s other Pro-Continental team, Andalusia, was forced to announce that it would be unable to continue in 2013 after running into financial trouble when one key sponsor defaulted on payments last year.
Spain now has just three teams in the top two categories - Movistar, Euskaltel-Euskadi and Caja Rural - and in the country’s ongoing recession, sponsorship is proving increasingly hard to come by. Whilst no question marks hung over Caja Rural’s future, Seguros RGA’s involvement gives the team an added level of financial security.
A professional team since 2010, Caja Rural are still angling for an Vuelta invite for 2013. However, their strong performance in the Vuelta last year, with Seville-born climber Antonio Piedra winning a stage on one of Spain’s most prestigious summit finishes, the Lagos de Covadonga, makes it almost certain the team will once again be part of the line-up of Spain’s top stage race next August.
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Alasdair Fotheringham has been reporting on cycling since 1991. He has covered every Tour de France since 1992 as well as numerous other bike races of all shapes and sizes, ranging from the Olympic Games in 2008 to the now sadly defunct Subida a Urkiola hill climb in Spain. Apart from working for Cyclingnews.com, he is also the cycling correspondent for The Independent and The Independent on Sunday.
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