Yes that’s right. Arguably the most successful cycling team of the past decade is soon to be history. Discovery Channel is disbanding at the end of this season after unsuccessful attempts to secure a sponsor.
“This was a difficult decision, not made any easier by our recent Tour de France success,” Tailwind Sports GM Bill Stapleton said. “We were in talks with a number of companies about the opportunity and were confident a new sponsor was imminent. We have chosen, however, to end those discussions.”
Tailwind sports has indicated that Johan Bruyneel will retire at the end of this season. I guess that, like Lance, He wants to go out on top.
So what will part owner Lance do?
“I do not think you have seen the last of this organization in the sport,” Armstrong, said. “But clearly things need to improve on many levels, with a more unified front, before you would see us venture back into cycling.”
Knowing the ProTour needs an American team to attract US TV dollars (but they can only stomach one US team) things are looking good for Jonathan Vaughters and his team Slipstream.
The team will go out in style by having their coda include the Tour of Missouri on Sept 11 – 16. That’s right, the Tour of Missouri.