Rabobank has confirmed it will end all its professional sports sponsorship after 2016. The Dutch bank said that its current agreements with the Dutch cycling union, the Dutch equitation union and two cycling teams – the Rabo Development Team and Marian Vos' Rabo Liv women’s team – will all expire after the end of the 2016 season.
The bank had announced last month that it would discontinue its sponsorship of the development team.
Rabobank has been involved in cycling since 1996, sponsoring the Rabobank team from 1996 to 2012, the development team since 2002, and the women’s team since 2012. Rabobank quit men's professional cycling in 2012, blaming the numerous doping scandals and in particular the Lance Armstrong-USADA investigation, which also suggested there was doping within the Dutch team.
Huib Kloosterhuis, director of the KNWU, the Dutch cycling federation, said that “The current strong position of the sport of cycling is partly due to Rabobank's long-term support. Nonetheless, we regret that this partnership is coming to an end.”
In its press release, the bank said that it “has every confidence that the team will once again deliver good results in 2016. This will provide a good basis for finding new partners.”
The team’s star, Marianne Vos, said, “We will continue to try 100% in 2016, in which the sporting highlight will be the Olympic Games in Rio. I want to thank Rabobank for all the opportunities it has given the team, our young riders and to me personally.”
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