Barloworld return to cycling
SA's Robbie Hunter (Gallo Images)
Paris -The South African sponsored Barloworld cycling team has done an about turn and decided to return to the sport five months after pulling out over doping at the Tour de France.
Chris Fisher, head of Corporate Marketing at Barloworld, a South African multinational company, said that the company's sponsorship had been "both successful and popular" and that the decision had been taken to carry on in 2009.
A press statement said that Barloworld "has also been the team that created a stepping stone for many South Africans to take the step up from local stardom onto the international stage.
"Team Barloworld will continue to offer Africa's top riders an opportunity to compete internationally against the world's very best."
The team withdrew from this year's Tour de France and from cycling in general when one of its riders, Spaniard Moises Duenas, tested positive for the banned blood enhancer EPO.
The press statement said that the team would remain largely unchanged for 2009 including up-an-coming South African climber John Lee Augustyn, his compatriot Robert Hunter, Colombian Maurizio Soler and British trio Steve Cummings, Geraint Thomas and Chris Froome.
An official announcement of riders and the event roster for the 2009 season will be announced within the next few days.