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August 04, 2003

BBC Sport | ONCE withdraw sponsorship

The sponsor for the current team of Joseba Beloki, the Gonzalez Galdeanos, Jorg Jaksche and José Azevedo, and former team of Alex Zulle and Laurent Jalabert, will exit cycling after this season, after 15 years sponsoring a team.

"It's the end of an era," admitted ONCE communications director Fernando Mendi.

"We've been providing sponsorship for 15 years and 98% of Spaniards recognise the ONCE brand."

The organisation will continue to support grassroots ventures in the run-up to the 2004 Paralympic Games in Athens, which Mendi said were "closer to the organisation's social aims."

Saiz will now have to seek other sponsors. Supermarket chain Eroski have said they would continue, but only in partnership with a larger backer and not as the main sponsor.

Posted by Frank Steele on August 4, 2003 in Tour news | Permalink

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