Bob Stapelton, owner and director of pro cycling team HTC-Highroad, announced Thursday that he was unable to find appropriate sponsorship and would release HTC's 27 riders from their contracts, effectively killing on of the sport's best teams. Among the riders looking for new squads will be Mark Cavendish, who won five stages and secured the green jersey at last month's Tour de France. Stapelton's three-year contract with the troubled electronics maker HTC is set to expire in late 2011. Rather than rush to maintain the team with a skeleton budget, or merge with another team, Stapelton said he felt compelled to release the riders. “It is in their best interest to go forward with their career options,” he told journalists Thursday.
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