French team were at risk of folding with lead sponsor Europcar pulling out, but team manager Jean-Rene Bernaudeau says he has found a new sponsor
Europcar will live on into 2016, albeit under a new guise, after team manager Jean-Rene Bernaudeau said he has found a new French sponsor for the team, who currently ride at Pro Continental level.
French newspaper L’Equipe reported on Wednesday that Bernaudeau is also hoping to take the team back to the WorldTour after securing support from the thus far unamed sponsor.
“The latest news is very good. Everything seems sorted but the project has yet to be made official because the sponsor wants to make the announcement,” Bernaudeau told L’Equipe. “It’ll be a French sponsor, that is all I can say.”
Several riders have already chosen to move on from Europcar amid their mid-season uncertainty, with lead GC contender Pierre Rolland making the move to Cannondale-Garmin for the 2016 season.
Thomas Voeckler is reportedly staying with the team, as is young sprinter Bryan Coquard, though Cyril Gautier, who has been visible in breakaways at both the Tour de France and the Vuelta a España, is searching for new team.
One new addition to the squad could be veteran Frenchman Sylvain Chavanel according to L’Equipe, who will not continue with WorldTour team IAM Cycling after they confirmed they would not be offering him a new contract earlier this year.
Chavanel previously worked with Bernaudeau at the Bonjour team from 2000-2004, and looks set to link up with his old manager again next year.