Defunct B&B Hotels - KTM team owes riders over €100,000

Expenses payments also left unpaid from team that almost signed Mark Cavendish

B&B Hotels at Tour de France 2022
(Image credit: Getty)

The now defunct B&B Hotels - KTM team, where Mark Cavendish had signed to race in 2023, owes over €100,000 (£89,000) to riders and staff, according to a report in l’Equipe.

According to a source close to the case quoted by the French paper there are “two in particular” owed in excess of €100,000 (£89,000) from image rights deals.

The lengthy report into the collapse of the squad said that there were also still expenses claims from staff outstanding and that salaries for riders for December and November had been paid late.

Since the collapse of the men’s team just five riders have found spots elsewhere, including Cavendish who is now riding for Astana. Notably team stalwart and Tour de France stage winner Pierre Roland was forced to retire when he could not find an alternative team.

The French sports paper reported that team boss Jerome Pineau had been working on the project to upscale the team since January last year, when he met with former French football boss Didier Quillot, who agreed to underwrite some of the costs involved in setting up the new project.

But even by spring the team was in financial difficulty and CEO of former sponsor Vital concept Patrice Étienne injected €3m (£2.6m) into the struggling team to allow it to pay riders.

Team administrator Henri Le Bobinnec told the paper: “Without Patrice Étienne the team would have disappeared a long time ago.”

Over this period the deal for the City of Paris to sponsor the team had turned sour. But the overtures had the effect of torpedoing Pineau’s existing relationship with the Britany government which had been putting in around €50,000 per year and also covered loans to the UCI of €900,000 to help cover the bank guarantee all teams are required to have.

L’Equipe reports the team manager contacted 115 different companies to try and secure sponsorship for 2023 but despite 40 meetings little solid interest emerged and eventually the team collapsed.

Pineau himself declined to speak in detail to l’Equipe but did say he expected to lay out his side of the story before the start of Paris-Nice on 5 March.

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Having trained as a journalist at Cardiff University I spent eight years working as a business journalist covering everything from social care, to construction to the legal profession and riding my bike at the weekends and evenings. When a friend told me Cycling Weekly was looking for a news editor, I didn't give myself much chance of landing the role, but I did and joined the publication in 2016. Since then I've covered Tours de France, World Championships, hour records, spring classics and races in the Middle East. On top of that, since becoming features editor in 2017 I've also been lucky enough to get myself sent to ride my bike for magazine pieces in Portugal and across the UK. They've all been fun but I have an enduring passion for covering the national track championships. It might not be the most glamorous but it's got a real community feeling to it.