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Unfair and Unbalanced
Unfair and Unbalanced
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August 5: I received a heartbreaking press release yesterday. HTC-Highroad is ending their fabulous winning run. Owner Bob Stapleton is dissolving the team after a very intense yet fruitless search to replace title sponsor HTC. I'm guessing, but of course can't be certain, that risk-averse corporations are not comfortable with aligning their images with the potential public relations catastrophe that is always around the corner in professional cycling, even with a squeeky-clean outfits like HTC-Highroad. The sport, in no small way, is reaping what it has sown.
Here is the release:
San Luis Obispo, California, 4th August 2011 - "After an exhaustive search to secure long term sponsorship we have concluded that it's time to release our team members to pursue other options," said team owner, Bob Stapleton. "Our team's success has been based on our outstanding people. It's in their best interest that we make this decision now."
"The team has had unmatched athletic success," continued Stapleton. "The dedication shown by our athletes, management team and staff year after year has been exceptional. Together they created one of the most successful teams in cycling's history. Our athletes are the most sought after in the sport, and our management and staff are the most capable in cycling. They will lead new teams and the sport forward. Helping to create the individual success of the people in our team has been the most important and enjoyable element of our management team. We wish everyone the best for the future."
"Finally, we would like to thank our partners who worked very closely with us over the years to help set Highroad as the benchmark for elite cycling teams," added Stapleton. "We are very proud of the performance and value we gave our sponsors and our fans."
The team will race through the end of the 2011 season and likely reach its 500th race win since its inception in 2008. To date, the team has won 484 races including 54 grand tour stages and has a large collection of classic and stage race victories to its name.