Last year, Raleigh team riders were surprised when they were told they would become Team Diamondback riders as it was acknowledged the R word was not a turn on for those likely to be impressed by trade racing teams.
Now the plug has been pulled on Team Diamondback too. Critical infrastructure – such as the team truck – is going to be put up for sale.
Riders will now be looking to join new teams. Their contracts expire at the end of December.
Team manager Gary Coltman – with Raleigh either as a rider or team manager for ten years – is in the process of informing sponsors. Coltman was told of the suspension on Monday, although he has known it was on the cards for the past six months.
Raleigh may have disbanded the full team – saving perhaps £150 000+ a year – but may seek to sponsor one or more high-profule riders, albeit without mechanical back-up or other team services.
Top-end DBR bikes have also been suspended. Diamondback in the UK becomes a low end to mid end brand only.