Ferrari F1 driver Fernando Alonso buys Basque cycling team

Alonso buys cycling team
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Formula 1 driver Fernando Alonso buys a Basque cycling team to prevent them from extinction.

Ferrari Formula 1 driver Fernando Alonso has saved a Basque cycling team from "demise" by buying them out.

Euskaltel Euskadi were close to extinction due to a lack of funding, but Alonso, who is a keen cyclist, has reached an agreement with the team to keep them competing.

A statement on the Spaniard's official website said: "After various days of intense negotiations between both parties, carried out with maximum discretion, we are pleased to announce that the Spanish sportsman has reached an initial agreement to buy said cycling team and so avoid its demise."

The Basque team, who have been competing for nearly two decades, were expected to cease at the end of the season.

Nico Rosberg of Germany and Mercedes GP leads Sebastian Vettel of Germany and Ferrari and Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain and Mercedes GP into the first corner during the Spanish Formula One Grand Prix at Circuit de Catalunya on May 10, 2015
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