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Cannondale-Drapac says it is looking for new sponsors – but US bike brand will still back it

Team owner Slipstream Sports also says it is looking for new investment

Cannondale-Drapac has responded to reports that the US bike brand the co-sponsors it is withdrawing its backing – but says that it is looking for additional sponsors, as well as more investment.

The UCI WorldTour team is managed by Slipstream Sports under CEO Jonathan Vaughters and switched to riding Cannondale for the 2015 season, having previously been supplied by Cervélo.

US bike brand Cannondale had provided bikes for the Italian team Liquigas, which was wound up at the end of the 2014 season.

It joined existing sponsor Garmin as title sponsor of Cannondale-Garmin for 2015, before becoming sole sponsor at the start of 2016 as Cannondale Pro Cycling.

Prior to last year’s Tour de France, it was announced that the sponsor of the Australia-based UCI Professional Continental team Drapac had come on board as co-sponsor, with the two teams set to merge ahead of the 2017 season.

In a statement, the team’s management company Slipstream Sports said:

Cannondale is not only a sponsor of the team but also a major owner of Slipstream Sports.

And while Cannondale wishes to continue as a major financial backer, we are actively looking for additional sponsors.

The team’s budget is extremely limited and has been for several years, forcing cuts in areas such as sport science and aerodynamic testing.

In order to provide the proper level of support to our riders, we will continue to search for further backing.

In March Cannondale’s owner, Canada-based Dorel Industries, revealed that its Dorel Sports division, which includes Cannondale within its Cycling Sports Group, had made a loss in 2016.

It has restructured the business in response but earlier this month, said that Dorel Sports had seen a 9.9 per cent decline in “organic revenue” during the first quarter of 2017 and that more widely, “the bicycle industry is currently facing short-term challenges,” meaning that “sales growth opportunities in 2017 could be limited.” 

Following a barren couple of years in terms of victories at WorldTour level, Cannondale-Drapac returned to winning ways last month with Andrew Talansky taking a stage at the Amgen Tour of California and Pierre Rolland clinching Stage 17 of the Giro d’Italia.

Simon joined as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.

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DaveE128 | 6 years ago

Sounds concerningly like Dorel are just giving up on cycling generally.  2 Would be a real shame if Cannondale went to the wall, they have been real innovators in a number of areas over the years.

Jackson | 6 years ago

I like Cannondale and I could see them having a decent value proposition for sponsors in the English speaking world, especially now Millar and his mates are gone. "We're nice guys who almost certainly aren't cheating, we won't win you 60 races a year but we try and animate big races where we can" vs. "we're not technically cheating by some interpretations, we're off our faces on asthma steroids but we win the TdF every year", "we're a Russian oil oligarch's hobby" or "f*** it, we're run by a Bahraini torturer".

Of course, this is all rearranging deckchairs on the Titanic until pro cycling actually sorts out the team sponsorship model and goes for franchises + a salary cap or something. 

Freddy56 | 6 years ago
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The team form on the ethos of clean, but with millar and Danielson and zeb'Risky' they were as filthy as they come.

wouldnt miss their content to the pro scene or awful Poc helmets 

RobD replied to Freddy56 | 6 years ago
1 like

Freddy56 wrote:

The team form on the ethos of clean, but with millar and Danielson and zeb'Risky' they were as filthy as they come.

wouldnt miss their content to the pro scene or awful Poc helmets 

As much as I'll always have slight suspicions of any rider who's caught doping, they did seem to be very much based on the idea that if you were a reformed doper then they might be the team for you, and with the public image that they have then I doubt riders could get away with doping on that team very easily.

Definitely agree about the POC helmets though, they are a bit awful. I hope they get some decent sponsorship though, it'd be good to see them back up there challenging, I guess they lost some of the cool factor that they had when they were riding cervelos and doing things a little bit differently, to the rest of the world tour.

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