Greg Van Avermaet and Matteo Trentin could be forced to find new teams after team manager Jim Ochowicz confirmed primary sponsor CCC would be withdrawing from the sport at the end of 2020. The Polish budget shoe company had committed to sponsoring the men’s WorldTour team until 2022.
However, due to the financial implications caused by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, company owner Dariusz Milek stated that marketing spend from the company would be dramatically cut, including its funding to the professional cycling team.
In a statement released on Monday, Ochowicz confirmed that CCC would be withdrawing from the sport at the end of 2020 and that Continuum Sport, the company that owns the WorldTour licence, would begin its search for a new sponsor.
‘Looking ahead to the 2021 season, CCC will no longer be the title sponsor so we are now actively looking for a new title sponsor. We are in an unprecedented time but we are confident there are companies that want to invest in cycling, especially given the global rise in popularity of bike riding in recent months,’ said Ochowicz.
‘Under the Continuum Sports ownership and licence, we have grown from a US Continental Team in 2007 to one of the biggest WorldTour teams in the peloton in recent years and we have every intention of continuing under new title sponsorship.’
The ongoing Covid-19 situation had already forced the team to cut rider and staff wages dramatically, while some non-essential staff have been let go.
If the team is to survive into 2021, Ochowicz’s priority will be finding a new primary sponsor to foot the majority of the team’s bill.
It has been reported that bike sponsor Giant is happy to continue with the team, and potentially become a co-sponsor, but is unwilling to up its financial support to that of a primary sponsor.
To attract a new sponsor, especially in these testing times, it is of added importance that the team experiences success in the rescheduled racing calendar set to start again from next month, with the WorldTour following in August.
With all three Grand Tours and all five Monuments now set to take place in a 71-day window between August and November, there will be plenty of opportunities for the likes of Van Avermaet and Trentin to impress and hopefully attract new funding.
‘Our first priority is returning to the start line and achieving the season goals we set out in December,’ explained Ochowicz.
‘The racing calendar may be more condensed now but we are more motivated than ever to achieve the key wins we outlined for 2020; a Monument win, a WorldTour one day win, a WorldTour stage race win and a stage victory at each of the three Grand Tours.
‘Every race day is an opportunity for our riders and it is clear that strong performances in the early races are going to be instrumental in securing the team’s long term future.’