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Rabobank changes name to Blanco Pro Cycling Team

The Dutch ProTeam will ride under the Blanco name as it searches for new sponsorship

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SASSENHEIM, Netherlands (VN) — The team formerly known as Rabobank announced its new, temporary name today. The squad’s 29 riders will ride under the flag of Blanco Pro Cycling Team to begin the 2013 season.

Rabobank guarantees the salaries of staff and riders for 2013, but if no new sponsor is found, the team is likely to shutter after next season. The new jersey, without the enigmatic orange, will be presented today on the Spanish island of Fuerteventura.

Rabobank continues to support Marianne Vos and her Olympic ambitions for another four years. The Continental development squad and the off-road team will also continue to bear the name of the Dutch bank, which started its sponsorship in 1996.

The organizational structure of the men’s team changes as well. Harold Knebel steps down as manager and current communications manager Richard Plugge will replace him on December 31. The management of the men’s team furthermore consists of Louis Delahaije, Nico Verhoeven and Merijn Zeeman. The team name, Blanco Pro, is a temporary one — similar to Argos-Shimano’s “Project 1t4i” moniker in early 2012 — until a new sponsor emerges. These talks are still ongoing. Giant will stay on as equipment sponsor for all the teams.

Olympic and world champion Vos takes matters into her own hands as the chairwoman of the foundation behind the Rabobank Liv-Giant Team. The team consists of 12 women and will have the support of Rabobank for another four years. Vos has the ambition to defend her Olympic title in Rio de Janeiro in 2016.

Brainwash will step down as a sponsor of the women’s team at the end of 2012. The chain of hairdressers had an agreement for another year, but will also stop sponsoring the Holland Ladies Tour.

The Continental team, which has delivered all of the Dutch pro riders in the men’s ProTeam, continues as Rabobank Development for 2013-2016. It will be led by a foundation, established by KNWU, the Dutch Cycling Federation. The cyclocrossers, including U23 world champion Lars van der Haar, are part of this team. Rabobank will support the mountain bike team, Giant Off-road, for one season more.

Editor’s Note: This video interview is courtesy of Blanco Pro Cycling. The opinions expressed in this video do not necessarily represent the opinions of VeloNews.com, Velo magazine or the editors and staff of Competitor Group, Inc.