Team CCC boss Jim Ochowicz has confirmed the Polish shoe manufacturer will end their sponsorship of the WorldTour team at the end of the 2020 season.
The coronavirus pandemic had plunged the sponsor into financial turmoil, with the shoe company’s boss saying the firm was fighting for its future and didn’t have the money to fund a top tier cycling squad.
Riders had gone without pay in recent months until a compromise was agreed to pay them half of their yearly wage, while non-essential staff were let go.
Bike manufacturer Giant will stay on with Ochowicz and could even join another company as a co-headline sponsor. Before cutting the agreement short, CCC had initially signed on for a three-year deal at the start of 2019.
“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,” Ochowicz said in a statement released on Monday morning.
“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 the popularity of bike riding in recent months. Under the Continuum Sports ownership and license, 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.”
Ochowicz was the man behind the successful 7-Eleven and Motorola teams before running BMC during the 2010s, then saving the team thanks to a last-minute deal with CCC in 2018.
The grim economic outlook makes the chances of finding a replacement sponsor even tougher than usual, although Ochowicz says his first concern is achieving the goals the team set out with at the start of the 2020 season.
“Our first priority is returning to the start line and achieving the season goals we set out in December,” Ochowicz said.
“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.”