Cycling-Alonso steps in to save Spain's Euskaltel-Euskadi team

Reuters

By Alasdair Fotheringham

TORREDELCAMPO, Spain, Sept 2 (Reuters) - Formula One driver Fernando Alonso has stepped in to save Spanish cycling team Euskaltel-Euskadi from folding at the end of the season, sponsors said on Monday.

The Spanish double world champion was set to purchase the WorldTour licence to enable the team to continue racing in 2014, current sponsors Euskaltel said in a statement.

"The negotiations will be completed in the next few weeks and will culminate in the purchase of the company (Basque Cycling Pro Team), which owns the team, by Fernando Alonso," the statement said.

Euskaltel-Euskadi are one of Spain's two teams in the WorldTour, cycling's top league. Led by Spain's Samuel Sanchez, the 2008 Olympic road-race champion, they had looked likely to fold at the end of the season after 17 years after co-sponsors failed to provide promised funding in 2013.

No financial details were given of Alonso's deal but Spanish website elperiodico.com said the Ferrari driver had some six million euros available to spend on the cycling team.

The Basque squad are currently taking part in the Tour of Spain, the country's Grand Tour. (Editing by Clare Fallon)

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