Armitstead's AA Drink squad to fold at end of year

Lizzie Armitstead, British road race National Championships 2012

The Dutch women's team AA is set to discontinue at the end of the season, reports Dutch website

The move would leave British riders Lizzie Armitstead, Emma Pooley, Sharon Laws and Lucy Martin without a squad for 2013. 

Armitstead, Pooley and Martin represented Great Britain at the 2012 Olympic Games, where Armitstead recently won a much lauded silver medal in the road race, while Laws is current British national road race champion. 

Team manager Michael Zijlaard is reported to have told riders and staff earlier this week that their contracts would not be renewed after he and his wife, Leontien Van Moorsel, who both run the team, were unable to secure sponsorship for 2013. 

Sports drink manufacturer AA Drink opted not to continue funding the team, which is also home to Kirsten Wild, and Zijlaard and Van Moorsel were unwilling to search for a replacement.

The British riders thus look likely to find themselves looking for a team once again, a situation strikingly similar to last year when the Garmin-Cervelo women's team, on which they all rode, was ended. 

The events will no doubt lead to further calls for a women's Team Sky, an issue last covered at the end of 2011 when women's academy coach Simon Cope left British Cycling.

Related links

Armitstead wins silver in women's Olympic road race, Vos strikes gold

Sharon Laws wins national road race title

Pooley: where is our Team Sky?

Pooley, Armitstead and friends join AA Drink

Garmin-Cervelo women's team on the rocks



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