In a bombshell Rabobank have decided to stop all it’s commitments in professional cycling at the end of 2012.
Follow the developments in this story, the biggest fallout from the USADA report so far.
As of December 31, 2012 Rabobank will no longer sponsor any pro cycling teams. This affects both the men’s and women’s teams while they will continue it’s involvement at lower levels and the crossteam.
This is so far the biggest casualty of the shockwaves from the USADA report. Rabobank statement mentioning that it has no confidence that pro cycling can become a clean and fair sport in the future. What will happen to the riders for the 2013 season is now up in the air as Rabobank wasn’t merely a sponsor but actually owned the management company and the WT licence. So it’s not just as “easy” as finding a new sponsor for the existing teamstructure.
While the bank has made changes in the last years it can hardly claim to be an innocent victim in all this. In the years it has been a major sponsor the team has clearly been at the heart of some of the shady dealings in the EPO era, with the willing participation of team management. So some of the blame for the situation certainly falls back on them.