Bye, Team LeasePlan!

It’s official – Team LeasePlan, one the most successful private teams in cross country skiing is shutting its doors.

Andrew Musgrave, member of Team LeasePlan (also known by its previous name, Team LeasePlanGo) and the most succesful British cross country skier ever, wrote today on his Twitter account:

It’s official- no more Team LeasePlan after this season. A huge thanks to all teammates, staff & sponsors. It’s been 4 awesome years!

The Tigers, as the team was known througout the skiing circuit, was founded and managed by
a Norwegian Thomas Alsgaard. Easily identified by their orange-with-stripes race suits, the Tigers were one of the most successful teams in the Visma Ski Classics series.

One of the most successful – and one of the richest. The title sponsor of the team, LeasePlan injected some 38 million NOK ( approximately 4.4 million USD) into the team in the last 4 years, employing some 21 person, according to Norwegian broadcaster NRK. Unlike in cycling, private skiing teams do not normally publish their annual budgets.

LeasePlan, a huge international corporate fleet leasing firm, however, chose not to extend their sponsorship after the current contract expires this year. No reason for pulling the plug was given, but Norwegian media speculates that it might have to do with a change of leadership at the corporation that happened last year.

Alsgaard had tried to find sponsors for his team elsewhere – but, apparently, to no awail.

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Team LeasePlan’s long time leader, Petter Eliassen, have announced his retirement from competition less than two weeks ago, upon winning the last Ski Classics race of the season, Ylläs-Levi. Sadly, it was the last time we saw not just Petter, but his fellow Tigers’ either. No info yet as to what shall happen to the rest of the team racers.

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