VeloNews | 2008 Tour de Georgia

Rock Racing gets in

Domestic team Rock Racing was not originally invited and had threatened take race organizer Medalist Sports to court over a disputed verbal invitation, but was given Saunier Duval’s team slot Tuesday. With that settlement, Rock has signed on as a founding sponsor of the Tour de Georgia — the event’s highest sponsorship level.

“My commitment to cycling is long-term and I am proud to support this world-class race which has featured such winners as Lance Armstrong and Floyd Landis,” Rock team owner Michael Ball said. “As a tribute to the state of Georgia and to the rich tradition of this race, we plan something special for the final stage, so stay tuned.”

Hmm … sponsorship? Or bribery (on Rock Racing’s part) / extortion (on Medalist Sports’ part)? The timing of this sponsorship announcement is awfully suspect … making it seem as though the sponsorship is part of the agreement to let Rock race … a nice little quid pro quo.

The exchange of money does not make either the team OR the organizers look good.