August 10, 2007 (Austin, TX) – Tailwind Sports, owner and operator of the current Discovery Channel Pro Cycling Team, announced today that it will cease operations at the conclusion of the 2007 cycling season. The Team, with roots back to 1989, has operated under the Tailwind umbrella and seen tremendous success over its tenure including eight Tour de France titles, a Tour of Italy and a Tour of Spain title, and numerous national championships.
“Tailwind has had an amazing ten years of success with U.S. Postal and more recently Discovery Channel as its title sponsor. This is arguably the most successful sports franchise in the history of sport,” stated General Manage Bill Stapleton. “This was a difficult decision, not made any easier by our recent Tour de France success. 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.”
Sports Director Johan Bruyneel has been the driving force behind the Team’s success since his arrival to the team in 1999. In only nine years, Bruyneel has created a legacy that will live on in cycling history, and his departure from the sport was not an easy choice.
“When I came to direct this team in 1999 I never would have imagined that we could achieve this level of success. It was an amazing time in my life and the lives of all the staff and riders associated with this team,” commented Sports Director Johan Bruyneel.
“What I will miss are the staff, riders and the excitement of the races, but not all the in fighting between the teams. This team has become my family and I am very sad to think that we will not be together next season. 2007 has been our most successful season ever and I expect the remainder of the season to continue on that same path.”
Lance Armstrong has been intricately involved in the team both as a rider and as an owner.
“I do not think you have seen the last of this organization in the sport but clearly things need to improve on many levels, with a more unified front, before you would see us venture back into cycling,” added Armstrong, co-owner and seven-time Tour de France champion.
The Discovery Channel Pro Cycling Team will continue to race its full calendar of Pro Tour races including the final grand tour of the season, the Tour of Spain, as well as the upcoming Tour of Missouri.
Tailwind Sports owns and operates the Discovery Channel Pro Cycling Team. Founded in 1989, the team has established itself as one of the best in the world and is the only American team to have won each of the sports’ premier events: the Tour de France, Tour of Spain and Tour of Italy, including Lance Armstrong’s historic seven consecutive victories at the Tour de France.
Tailwind has partnered with Capital Sports & Entertainment (CSE), an experiential event and sports marketing firm based in Austin, Texas to manage the sponsorship and operations of the team. Tailwind supports both USA Cycling and the USA Cycling Development Foundation to help identify and develop future American cyclists. Find out more about the Team and CSE at: www.thepaceline.com and www.planetcse.com
The Paceline.com is The Official Fan Club of Lance Armstrong and Discovery Channel Cycling.