Away from the big boys, cycling teams are struggling to survive | Kieran Pender

15 January 2018 05:00
As Tour Down Under kicks off the World Tour season, the finances in the pro peloton make grim viewing for manyPicturesque Adelaide, the annual host to the UCI World Tour’s season opener, provides few clues as to the financial challenges facing cycling. Almost a million fans will line the roads over the coming week to watch all 18 World Tour teams contest the Tour Down Under, with the world champion, Peter Sagan, the star attraction. Sponsors are wined and dined by teams under the warm South Australian sun, existing deals consolidated and new partnerships discussed. It may lack the grandeur of its European counterparts, but the Tour Down Under – which begins on Tuesday – presents a positive image of international cycling’s top tier.Yet not all is rosy within this multimillion-dollar sport. Cannondale-Drapac were midway through the 2017 Vuelta a España when the team announced it would fold within weeks unless £5m in sponsorship was secured. Cannondale are no minnows – Rigoberto Urán finished second at the 2017 Tour de France – but the unexpected withdrawal of a prospective partner left the team almost insolvent. While they ultimately survived, signing a new sponsor and crowdfunding over £400,000, the incident highlighted the precarious financial situation of some World Tour teams. Continue reading. . read full article

Source: TheGuardian