January 31/02 9:51 am - Ebay Team Sale Update, Paris-Nice Saved
Posted by Editor on 01/31/02
Ebay Team Sale Update
Team manager Jeremy Storie sent us an explanation of the Ebay sale idea:
We are the former 800.com Women's Professional Cycling Team. The title sponsor, 800.com, an on-line retail electronics dealer, had to pull out of the final year of their contract due to financial downsizing which has left the team with no financial backer at a very late date.
The riders had decided that because the team had such a great team chemistry and atmosphere they wanted to try to stick together. One of the riders had the EBay idea and I made the listing. Our team has grown from a strong regional program three years ago to a breakout year in 2001 with some top national performances. We were able to compete with all the top teams despite a budget well under the Saturn's of the world.
As it stands now we have a few irons in the fire and the team has committed to riding the California races together under the banner of Bianchi USA, who will continue to provide bicycle and clothing support to the team. It remains to be seen whether the sale on EBay will actually generate a sponsor for the team. At the very least it will hopefully provide exposure to the team's situation and generate some sponsor interest in that way.
The Paris-Nice race will go on in 2002 after all. Current owner Laurent Fignon has announced that he has reached an agreement with ASO (owners of the Tour de France) to sell the race to them. A week ago negotiations collapsed, but the UCI helped kickstart things again.