Formula One driver rescues Euskaltel; team to continue in 2014

Two-time Formula One world champion Fernando Alonso will acquire the company that owns the Spanish cycling team

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MADRID (AFP) — Spanish two-time Formula One world champion Fernando Alonso has agreed to rescue financially troubled Basque cycling team Euskaltel-Euskadi from collapse, the team said Monday.

“Euskaltel and Fernando Alonso have reached an agreement in principle which guarantees a new future for the cycling team,” the team said in a statement.

“Over the next weeks, negotiations between the parties will conclude with Fernando Alonso acquiring the company owning Euskaltel Euskadi, BCPT,” the statement said, without giving further financial details.

The Basque cycling team announced in August that it would shut down at the end of the year because it could not find a sponsor.

The team’s main sponsor, telecommunications company Euskaltel, had said it was looking for another sponsor to help with the running costs of the team after local government withdrew its 3.5 million euros ($4.6 million) of public funding due to spending cuts.

Euskaltel filled that funding gap itself for this season, taking its contribution to 7 million of the team’s budget of 9 million euros. However, it had said that level of investment was unsustainable.

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