Liquigas hopes Tour success could help find sponsor

Liquigas-Cannondale chase, Tour de France 2012, stage eight

Liquigas-Cannondale welcomes all the success it is enjoying this year in the Tour de France since changes are in store for 2013. Vincenzo Nibali, third overall, is leaving and title sponsor Liquigas is likely to leave too.

"Certainly, results help in finding something, but I don't believe that immediate success equals sponsorship," Roberto Amadio, the team's general manager told Cycling Weekly this morning. "Sponsors arrive because you have a solid structure, something that you've proved over eight years. It's clear, though, that sponsors are pleased by results and it helps. It's all added together in the end."

Sicilian Vincenzo Nibali is ready to give the Italian first division team its first podium spot in the Tour de France since it began in 2005. It has already won the Giro d'Italia with Ivan Basso in 2010 and the Vuelta a España with Nibali in 2010.

Slovak Peter Sagan secured three stage wins this year and positioned himself to win the green jersey. He leads the points competition by 356 points over André Greipel (Lotto-Belisol) at 254 points with three days to race.

After the Tour de France ends in Paris, Amadio must seriously start to consider the team's future. Its Grand Tour star is leaving and likely to join the Astana team. Liquigas, an Italian natural gas company, is likely pulling out too.

US bike manufacturer, Cannondale reportedly will take over title sponsorship, as the BMC Bicycles company funds Cadel Evans' team. Amadio is said to be also looking for a second title sponsor. With Italy suffering debt problems, he has a difficult search on his hands.

"It's a particular moment for all the sponsors in Italy," he said of Liquigas. "They are evaluating their involvement."

Amadio welcomed Nibali in his second year as a professional when he was only 21 years old and helped him develop. He filled Ivan Basso's shoes as Liquigas' Grand Tour captain. When Basso won the Giro in 2010, Nibali helped himself to a stage win and placed third overall. He went on to win the Vuelta. This year, he won the Tirreno-Adriatico stage race and nearly pulled off a 20km solo attack in Liège-Bastogne-Liège one-day classic.

"We made our offer, what we thought was best. There's a big difference in what the other teams are offering, though," said Amadio. "I'm sorry, but we've had seven years together, grew together. [his Tour] shows that we are able to help young riders grow and realise their dreams."

His new star, Sagan re-signed earlier this year through 2014. Sagan and riders like Moreno Moser, winner of the Tour of Poland, will lead Amadio's team though the changes.

Tour de France 2012: Latest news

Froome: Nibali's attacks weren't going anywhere

Wiggins' Tour de France training

Voigt tries to carry on as RadioShack's future seems in doubt

Frank Schleck positive for banned substance at Tour

Rest day review (July 17)

Defending Tour champ Evans has work to do in Pyrenees

Sprinters' teams unwilling to work on stage 15

Evans suffers multiple punctures after Tour tack attack

Froome not winning this year's Tour is 'very great sacrifice'

Frank Schleck criticises 'boring' Tour de France

Tour de France 2012: Teams, riders, start list

Tour 2012: Who will win?

Tour de France 2012 start list and withdrawals

Tour de France 2012 team list

Tour de France 2012: Stage reports

Stage 16: Voeckler the Pyrenean king as he wins in Bagneres de Luchon

Stage 15: Fedrigo wins, day off for peloton

Stage 14: Sanchez solos to Foix victory to save Rabobank's Tour

Stage 13: Greipel survives climb and crosswinds to win third Tour stage

Stage 12: Millar wins Tour stage nine years from his last

Stage 11: Wiggins strengthens Tour lead as Evans slips back

Stage 10: Voeckler wins and saves his Tour

Stage nine: Wiggins destroys opposition in Besancon TT

Stage eight: Pinot solos to Tour win as Wiggins fights off attacks

Stage seven: Wiggins takes yellow as Froome wins stage

Stage six: Sagan wins third Tour stage

Stage five: Greipel wins again as Cavendish fades

Stage four: Greipel wins stage after Cavendish crashes

Stage three: Sagan runs away with it in Boulogne

Stage two: Cavendish takes 21st Tour stage victory

Stage one: Sagan wins at first attempt

Prologue: Cancellara wins, Wiggins second

Tour de France 2012: Comment, analysis, blogs

Analysis: What we learned at La Planche des Belles Filles

Analysis: How much time could Wiggins gain in Tour's time trials

CW's Tour de France podcasts

Blog: Tour presentation - chasing dreams and autographs

Comment: Cavendish the climber

Tour de France 2012: Photo galleries

Stage 16 by Graham Watson

Stage 15 by Graham Watson

Stage 14 by Graham Watson

Stage 13 by Graham Watson

Stage 12 by Graham Watson

Stage 11 by Graham Watson

Stage 10 by Graham Watson

Stage nine by Graham Watson

Stage eight by Graham Watson

Stage seven by Graham Watson

Stage six by Graham Watson

Stage five by Graham Watson

Stage four by Graham Watson

Stage three by Graham Watson

Stage two by Andy Jones

Stage two by Graham Watson

Stage one by Graham Watson

Prologue photo gallery by Andy Jones

Prologue photo gallery by Roo Rowler

Prologue photo gallery by Graham Watson

Tour de France 2012: Team presentation

Sky and Rabobank Tour de France recce

Tour de France 2012: Live text coverage

Stage 17 live coverage

Stage 16 live coverage

Stage 12 live coverage

Stage 11 live coverage

Stage 10 live coverage

Stage nine live coverage

Stage six live coverage

Stage five live coverage

Stage four live coverage

Stage three live coverage

Cycling Weekly's live text coverage schedule

Tour de France 2012: TV schedule

ITV4 live schedule

British Eurosport live schedule

Tour de France 2012: Related links

Brits in the Tours: From Robinson to Cavendish

Brief history of the Tour de France

Tour de France 2011: Cycling Weekly's coverage index

1989: The Greatest Tour de France ever


Thank you for reading 20 articles this month* Join now for unlimited access

Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription

Join now for unlimited access

Try first month for just £1 / $1 / €1