Sad news in some ways that the Caisse d’Epargne squad is going to fold at the end of the year. The French savings bank had announced a while ago that it was to step down but it seems the team management can’t find a new sponsor.
This was an outfit that had its genesis way back, it might well be older than quite a few readers of this blog. What began as the Reynolds team in 1980 became Banesto, then Illes Balears then Caisse d’Epargne.
But if it’s a piece of history, the team is also a relic of a bygone age. For me any feelings of sorrow are dashed by the ridiculous, blind and ignorant statements put out by the team staff. Speaking to cyclingnews.com, the squad’s Francis Lafargue says:
“What with cycling’s degraded image because of doping and the financial crisis, it’s getting more and more difficult. The future is very uncertain“
Whooah there! This is the very team that backed Valverde all the way. Have they no sense of irony or self-regard? One of the biggest doping scandals has been Valverde and he’s done plenty to tarnish the image of the sport.
They had their chance to ditch Piti’s master but instead stood by him, often resorting to the most lame of statements. Even today Lafargue is saying “We still believe that the decision was unjust“. Now what’s unjust about banning a blood doper for two years?
With management as backward as this, no wonder sponsors are fleeing. Whilst it’s sad to see some genuine good guys caught up in this, I won’t mourn the absence of Lafargue and his warped bunch of cronies.