Long-standing British team AT85 Pro Cycling collapses
British UCI Continental team formerly known as WiV SunGod become latest UK team to suffer sponsorship issues
The highly successful British UCI Continental team AT85 Pro Cycling - formerly known as WiV SunGod - has collapsed due to last minute sponsorship issues, Cycling Weekly can reveal.
Multiple sources have confirmed to Cycling Weekly that the team's riders and staff were told last night that the team was unable to continue.
A statement released on social media this afternoon confirmed the news, and cited “funding issues” and “an increasingly uncertain banking and finance sector” as the main reasons behind the team’s situation.
The statement read: “It is hard to find the right words, but we would like to thank all of our riders and staff for the enormous amount of work already done this season. Also a huge thanks to many of our current sponsors as they rallied to try and help us continue racing this season. Your efforts have touched us!
“To race organisers and fans who have supported us, we’re sorry to be leaving, but them’s the cards we’ve been dealt this year!”
Full details of the funding issues remain unclear.
Team owner Tim Elverson added that he was “heartbroken” by the decision.
“I’ve been through some tough times owning a team, but the last 24 hours have been the hardest.... I see no option but to shut the team’s doors with immediate effect,” he said.
Founded in 2017, the team has enjoyed huge success on the British domestic scene, with notable results including stage wins at the Tour de Yorkshire and the overall title at the Tour Series as well as National Road Series.
In 2022 alone, the team accrued 48 individual race wins which included the Tour de la Mirabelle, Paris-Troyes and the Lancaster GP.
AT85 riders also enjoyed stints in various jerseys at last year’s Tour of Britain, with Matthew Teggart winning the sprints classification when the race finished early due to the death of Queen Elizabeth II.
The team's success over the last 18 months led to multiple star riders including Matt Bostock, Jacob Scott and Rory Townsend moving up to the ProTeam level with the Bolton Equities Black Spoke squad.
During the off season, multiple other riders were brought in to replace the outgoing crop. This included Commonwealth Games medallist Finn Crockett, formerly of Ribble Weldtite, and Chris Lawless. AT85 also acquired the services of former Ribble DS Colin Sturgess.
At the time, Sturgess told CW that joining the Hampshire-based squad was a “no brainer”.
In that same period the team also changed it's headline sponsor from WiV to AT85. AT85, are part of Astatine Investment Partners, investing in and managing transportation, digital and utility related infrastructure in North America and Europe.
The team had also partnered with bike manufacturer Dolan for the current season.
It’s understood that other British squads have been approached in the hope of securing last minute places for riders and staff. Other riders on the team's roster for 2023 included Rob Scott, Matthew Teggart, Sam Culverwell, Stuart Balfour and Jim Brown.
AT85’s demise comes just months after Ribble Weldtite ceased to exist due to a shortfall of £50,000-80,000 in sponsorship cash. The loss of AT85 now leaves just two men’s UCI Continental teams in the UK domestic scene, Saint Piran and Trinity Racing.
Cycling Weekly has approached AT85 Pro Cycling for comment but manager Tim Elverson said he was unable to do so at this time.
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Tom is a News and Features Writer at Cycling Weekly, and previously worked in communications at Oxford Brookes University. Alongside his day job, prior to starting with the team, he wrote a variety of different pieces as a contributor to a cycling website, Casquettes and Bidons, which included interviews with up and coming British riders.
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