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MADRID (VN) — Advisors to Formula One driver Fernando Alonso confirmed this week that the project to create a cycling team is alive and well despite the collapse of talks to save Euskaltel-Euskadi.
Alonso’s manager and advisor, Luis Garcia Abad, said the team’s future would be revealed during the 2014 Tour de France, with an eye on having a squad up and running for the 2015 season.
Speaking in an interview with La Gazzetta dello Sport, Abad said the team has signed two title sponsors. According to the interview, Alonso and Co. will reveal their new squad in a press conference on the first rest day of the 2014 Tour.
”They are not sponsors currently involved in cycling,” he said. “We are drawn toward businesses interested in innovation and with an ecological vision. We already have two deals signed.”
Alonso was poised to take over the Euskaltel team, but talks between the parties ended almost as abruptly as they started, leaving the Basque team to collapse at the end of this season.
Rather than rush things through, Alonso and his advisors decided to take the time they needed to build a program from scratch. The plan is to have a top-level, WorldTour team ready to race by 2015.
Abad said they hope to combine the best of cycling and Formula One to create a new model of how a cycling team is funded and organized.
“Fernando has said that he wants to bring the best of Formula One to cycling, and vice versa,” Abad continued. “This means technology, investment, commercialization, marketing, and using new tools such as telemetry, and the formation of a medical center, all with the intention of avoiding the troubles of doping.”
There are rumors flying about the team making side deals with riders for 2015, but Abad shot those down, saying it’s too early to speak of contracts.
If the deal comes to fruition, it would be a boon for Spanish cycling, With the demise of Euskaltel, only Movistar remains in the WorldTour, with Caja Rural the lone Spanish survivor in the UCI Pro Continental ranks.