The downfall of the Paule Ka team

Owen Rogers investigates a tale of out of work professional cyclists, disappearing benefactors and international finance - and the lack of it

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Geneva is well known as one of Europe’s most expensive cities, but when Bigla-Katusha team manager Thomas Campana met businessman, Matthias Thoma for coffee in the Swiss city he had no idea what it would cost.

The two men met in May, a few weeks after Campana’s team sponsors, Bigla and Katusha both withdrew backing with immediate effect, leaving his squad with no funds. Though the bank guarantee that teams are required to lay with the UCI was released to pay the riders, including British star Lizzy Banks, that left no money for travel, accommodation or the usual sundries of running a team. The situation was dire.

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Owen Rogers is an experienced journalist, covering professional cycling and specialising in women's road racing. He has followed races such as the Women's Tour and Giro d'Italia Donne, live-tweeting from Women's WorldTour events as well as providing race reports, interviews, analysis and news stories. He has also worked for race teams, to provide post race reports and communications.