UCI Pro Team Sojasun to Fold after Failing to Acquire Title Sponsor

October 1, 2013

The Sojasun cyclicng team, cough part of the UCI Pro Continental series, have revealed they will fold after failing to securing a title sponsor.

The French team appeared in the last three Tours de France via wild card invites. Jerome Coppel finished 13th in the 2011 Tour to provide a boost to the small team that was formed in 2009 as Besson Chaussures-Sojasun. In 2010, the team became known as Saur-Sojasun and entered the Pro Continental circuit.

Tuesday is the deadline for teams to register with the UCI for the 2014 season.

General manager Stéphane Heulot said last week that the team was trying to find a new sponsor but the bleak economic situation was not working in its favor.

Heulot did suggest he was in discussions over a possible merger with NetApp-Endura as he sought to save his team for 2014. The Frenchman said that he withdrew from negotiations when it became clear that NetApp-Endura was interested only in securing the services of Heulot and five of his riders rather than in a fuller amalgamation between the two Pro Continental teams.

“It seemed ideal to me but when I started talking with them, I realised that they didn’t want much from the existing Sojasun team other than five riders and me,” Heulot told L’Équipe. “I quickly put an end to the negotiations. It was inconceivable for me to leave the rest of the team and staff.”