Cannondale-Drapac riders freed from contracts with team’s future under threat
The American team are unable to find enough financial backing for 2018
Cannondale-Drapac released the team’s riders from any contractual obligations for 2018 with uncertainty over whether there will be financial backing for the new season.
Star riders Rigoberto Uran, Pierre Rolland and Michael Woods are among those now looking for jobs.
The American WorldTour team announced Saturday evening in a statement that a financial backer they had lined up for 2018 fell through and that they could not guarantee their financial future.
“Without this partner’s support, we cannot guarantee our financial security and subsequently our UCI WorldTour license for 2017,” read a statement.
“We remain hopeful that this situation may resolve itself in the next few days and that the team may find new financial backing; however, without this guarantee, we felt an obligation to the individuals who make up our team to notify them of our current situation and give them time to look for their best options.
The team includes around 60 staff members, with 28 professional cyclists on the roster.
General manager and formal professional cyclist Jonathan Vaughters was working on a new financial backer, though it is unclear who it was.
“We want to be clear. All of our current sponsors and partners (Cannondale, Drapac, Oath, POC) have remained committed to support our team in 2018. These sponsors have lived up to their promises; however, without additional financial backing, the numbers simply don’t add up.”
David Millar, David Zabriskie, Christian Vande Velde, and other riders competed for the team in their debut at the top level in 2007. The team secured wild card invitations to Grand Tours and excelled in team time trials.
Other stars included Bradley Wiggins, Daniel Martin, Tyler Farrer, Ryder Hesjedal, and recently, Andrew Talansky and Sep Vanmarcke.
The team with Garmin as lead sponsor had briefly merged with Cervélo test team and link up with Cannondale-Liquigas when the bicycle manufacturer left if its Italian team to join Vaughters.