What's Cool In Road Cycling

Arrivederci Tiscali

Strike three for the UCI? Tiscali logs off.

Italian Internet Company Tiscali has decided to pull the plug on sponsorship for team CSC Tiscali, effective now. The timing couldn’t be worse for former tour winner Bjarne Riis (aka Mr. 60+ in ref to a one time test of his Hematocrit level, before things like that mattered…). CSC is in the process of negotiating with Jan the Man and was having a tough go trying to find a major corporation that was willing to invest a few Million euro in a new Marketing program rooted in a sport that is losing corporate backing and based on a guy that has had health, DUI and drug test (out of competition) problems of late. Not only will CSC not be able to afford a super talent in Jan Ullrich, but now it is unlikely that they will be able to pay the current staff (Tyler Hamilton etc.) and it is quite fortunate that Ja Ja left, freeing up a few Euro.

Let’s hope someone out there was sitting around with 8 million bucks over the next couple of years that has the opinion that the sport is turning the corner and becoming more viable as a Marketing venue. Lets hope that the Corporate leaders of the world didn’t see the Leader of the UCI blasting the head of Mapei (who had invested 100 million plus dollars over the last few years) for using cycling to promote his business (it would be interesting to know what corporations were supposed to be trying to accomplish…).

So Banesto says “Adios” over a decade and Mapei and Tiscali (representing the largest contributor to cycling team sponsorship in the history of the sport and one of it’s new generation of sponsors) say Ciao ….

Anyone want a guess at who’s next?

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