(Reuters) - The Belkin cycling team will need to find a new backer next season after its title sponsor said on Tuesday it was pulling out of the sport after only a year.
Belkin, a Californian consumer electronics group, succeeded Rabobank as the professional team’s sponsor ahead of last year’s Tour de France in what was seen as a vote of confidence in cycling after its doping scandals.
Belkin said the sponsorship had helped to boost its brand in Europe but it now wanted to focus on global initiatives and would terminate the partnership at the end of the year.
“It is unfortunate that this new collaboration is not going to be extended,” said Richard Plugge, the Dutch outfit’s team director said.
“We have full confidence in the future and expect to appear with a new sponsor on the shirt at the start of the 2015 season,” he added.
Belkin rider Bauke Mollema is currently in fourth place in the Tour de Suisse.
Writing by Keith Weir, editing by Tony Goodson