Sport Beans-Wilier are to lose their title sponsor for 2010 as Best Imports, distributors of Jelly Belly products in the UK, withdraw after two years of backing the team.
A press release issued by the backers read: “After two amazing years it is with great sadness that Best Imports (Sport Beans UK importer) announce that 2009 will be our last season of funding and sponsoring the team. Despite being one of the smallest teams in the country the Sport Beans-Wilier team have achieved some wonderful results and great exposure on the UK cycling scene – we are proud to have provided a springboard for some fine athletes.”
This season saw the squad taking on the big teams and landing its first Premier Calendar win with Marcin Bialoblocki in the Girvan at Easter, the highlight of several fine performances from the big Pole, although a broken collarbone in April put paid to a large portion of his racing year.
Taking the individual time trial at the final Tour Series race in Southend was another highlight for strongman Bialoblocki, says team manager Clive Richardson. “It was only a couple of weeks before Marcin’s wedding, so the £500 prize money came in handy! He took some big scalps that night.
“Will Bjergfelt won the Perfs in February, and the Kalas two-day. Mark Perry is the Southern region road champion. We finished mid-table in the Tour Series, and had a handful of Premier Calendar top-ten places. Those are the highlights from the season so far.”
Big win for Bialoblocki: the Girvan stage race at Easter
Richardson was keen to stress that the team remains supported for the remainder of the season and understands that “Wilier will be continuing their support of the team into 2010.”
Richardson himself intends to withdraw from the manager’s role next season and spend more time on his bike. “I personally have enjoyed watching the team grow and wish them the best of luck continuing into the new 2010 season,” he said.
Potential sponsors of the Sport Beans-Wilier team can contact Richardson or Ben Luckwell via the website www.sportbeans.co.uk/cycleteam.