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Rabobank ends its sponsorship of professional cycling teams
By Bart Hazen
Date: 10/19/2012
Rabobank ends its sponsorship of professional cycling teams

Rabobank ends its sponsorship of professional cycling teams
Dutch bank announces to end sponsorship of all teams per 31 december 2012 but team will continue as "white label' team as the bank honour contracts.

Rabobank will end its sponsorship of both the men's and the women's professional cycling teams per 31 December 2012. Rabobank will continue its ties with amateur cycling as a sponsor, including the youth training and the cyclocross team.The team will even continue with riding but under a "white label", the squad management announced. Despite the Dutch bank's withdrawal from sponsorship, they confirmed in a separate press conference that it would "honour the contracts", ensuring the teams' immediate financial continuity.

"The cycling team is pleased with the opportunity that Rabobank will give the cycling teams to continue in the cycling sport, despite the bad news/ The professionals and the women will be put as 'white label' under a new foundation yet to be established, while the continentals and the crossers will be accommodated by the Dutch Cycling Federation. The careers of a generation of riders will this way be secured.", " stated a release of the Rabobank team."

Rabobank has come to this decision following publication of the report from the American doping authority USADA last week. This report speaks volumes. Bert Bruggink, member of the Managing Board: "It is with pain in our heart, but for the bank this is an inevitable decision. We are no longer convinced that the international professional world of cycling can make this a clean and fair sport. We are not confident that this will change for the better in the foreseeable future."

Rabobank started its involvement in cycling 17 years ago replacing WordPerfect. Full of conviction and with a clear mission. Because cycling fits with Rabobank, with its clients and employees. Rabobank has expanded the cycling sponsorship during the course of the years to a complete package, from the men's and women's professional teams to the youth team and the cyclo cross.

Bert Bruggink: "Cycling is a beautiful sport, which millions of Dutch people enjoy and a large number of those Dutch people are clients of Rabobank. But our decision stands: we are pulling out of professional cycling. It is painful. Not just for Rabobank, but especially for the enthusiasts and the cyclists who are not to blame in this."

Bruggink continues on the "honoured contracts": "We will honour our contracts with the riders. The pro teams come in a separate foundation and hence contractual and financial obligations are unconditional. For the riders it is not possible now to move to another team."

While the men's team has given the assignment to continue on its own as soon as possible, the future of the women's team around Olympic- and World Champion Marianne Vos has still to be defined. "We want to completely support Marianne Vos' Olympic ambitions for 2016, but we have not yet worked out the details of that support. We are still looking for a solution," Bruggink added.

more to follow asap....

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