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Quick Step to keep team together

The Belgian flooring manufacturer Quick Step plans to maintain its cycling sponsorship despite co-backer Mapei's decision to pull out at the end of the season. Mapei announced the end of a decade's sponsorship in cycling last month, the building company blaming lack of progress in cleaning up the sport's tarnished image. Quick Step spokesman Philiep Caryn told the Belgian news agency Belga they were seeking to continue their involvement with an as yet unnamed Belgian company. Caryn reported: "We've already got a number of riders under contract -- the main ones being Tom

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By VeloNews Interactive wire services, Copyright 2002 AFP

The Belgian flooring manufacturer Quick Step plans to maintain its cycling sponsorship despite co-backer Mapei’s decision to pull out at the end of the season.

Mapei announced the end of a decade’s sponsorship in cycling last month, the building company blaming lack of progress in cleaning up the sport’s tarnished image.

Quick Step spokesman Philiep Caryn told the Belgian news agency Belga they were seeking to continue their involvement with an as yet unnamed Belgian company.

Caryn reported: “We’ve already got a number of riders under contract — the main ones being Tom Steels, Fabien De Waele, Frederik Willems, Paolo Bettini, Laszlo Bodrogi, Cadel Evans, Fabian Cancellara, Dmitriy Muravyev and Allan Howard Davis.”

Quick Step is also keen to re-sign several more of its young stars including world champion Oscar Freire.

Caryn disclosed the overall bill for backing the team would amount to 8 million euros (about $7.9 million), shared between Quick Step and its new partner.