Sep Vanmarcke: 'I hope Cannondale-Drapac can continue, but I cannot afford to wait'

Belgian Classics specialist wasting no time in search for new team

Sep Vanmarcke at Dwars door Vlaanderen
(Image credit: Yuzuru Sunada)

One of a number of riders facing an uncertain future after it was announced that Cannondale-Drapac could shut down at the end of the 2017 season, Sep Vanmarcke says that he cannot afford to waste any time finding a new team.

While team-mate Rigoberto Uran has said that he will give Slipstream Sports, the company behind the team, two weeks to find a new sponsor before going in search of a new team for the 2018 season, Vanmarke says he does not want to take such a risk.

>>> 'We are now literally fighting for out jobs': Cannondale riders react to shock sponsorship announcement

"The team has been very honest to release us now, and I hope that it will all be OK," the Belgian rider told Het Nieuwsblad after the Bretagne Classic - Ouest France on Sunday.

"But I cannot afford to wait. My manager is working on it. I'm really worried. I'll find a good team, but for the other riders this is a drama. Also for the mechanics and so on."

Vanmarcke joined Cannondale-Drapac on a two-year deal at the start of the 2017 season, but has endured a disappointing year with crashes and illness hampering his Classics campaign after a promising start with third place at Omloop Het Nieuwsblad.

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Nonetheless, podium positions at the Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix in previous years should help to secure him a good contract with another team for the 2018 season, something that cannot be said for some of his team-mates with less illustrious palmarès.

Jonathan Vaughters, the team's general manager, is currently searching for $7million to save the team, trying to raise some of the money through crowd-funding, and tweeting on Tuesday evening that "some very very interesting things are happening."

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However, Vanmarcke appears unwilling to take the risk of waiting to see if Cannondale-Drapac can be saved, potentially leaving himself without a team for the 2018 season if the $7million cannot be found, and BMC Racing, Lotto-Soudal, and Quick-Step Floors all appear to be potential destinations.

"Let's wait for a while, I hope, of course, that the team continues to exist," Vanmarke continued. "But I do not want to take a risk. We'll see what's outside of the bus."

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Henry Robertshaw began his time at Cycling Weekly working with the tech team, writing reviews, buying guides and appearing in videos advising on how to dress for the seasons. He later moved over to the news team, where his work focused on the professional peloton as well as legislation and provision for cycling. He's since moved his career in a new direction, with a role at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.