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Slipstream Sports clarifies sponsorship situation for Cannondale-Drapac team

Joseph Delves
2 Jun 2017

Bike maker remains major owner of the team, but is seeking additional cash to develop the squad

Slipstream Sports, the company behind the Cannondale-Drapac WorldTour team, has spoken to Cyclist to clarify growing speculation over the team's future at the top level of the sport.

Reports this morning suggested US bike manufacturing giant Cannondale wouldn't be renewing its title sponsorship when its current deal with the team expires at the end of this season.

However, Matthew Beaudin, communications director at Slipstream Sports, the holding company behind Cannondale-Drapac, has clarified that while the team would indeed be looking for new sponsors for 2018, Cannondale would remain a major financial backer.

‘Cannondale is not only a sponsor of the team but also a major owner of Slipstream Sports,’ Beaudin told Cyclist today. 'And while Cannondale wishes to continue as a major financial backer, we are actively looking for additional sponsors.’

As such the popular team's future looks less precarious. However, the squad’s spokesperson admitted that budgetary constraints have been affecting their ability to conduct some of the programmes commonly undertaken by better funded outfits.

‘The team’s budget is extremely limited and has been for several years, forcing cuts in areas such as sport science and aerodynamic testing.

'In order to provide the proper level of support to our riders, we will continue to search for further backing.’

Despite lacking the financial clout of the bigger teams, such as Team Sky or Movistar, the longstanding squad run by Jonathan Vaughters finished 8th in last year’s UCI WorldTour Team standings, and has recently secured several impressive results.

These results, however, came after a two year drought of WorldTour wins.

Chief among the latest wins was Pierre Rolland's stage victory in Canazei following a long break during Stage 17 at the Giro d'Italia

The fact that such an established team finds it difficult to carry out the sort of marginal-gains style projects that have been so touted by outfits like Team Sky may come as a surprise.

Even so, the discrepancy between the cash available to highest and lowest funded teams has increasingly become an issue in recent seasons.

While Team Sky is reputed to enjoy a budget in excess of £30 million, most mid-tier teams make do with around a third of that.

Despite previously punching above its weight in terms of results per dollar invested, the various iterations of the current Cannondale–Drapac squad have often been estimated to pull less sponsorship than most of the other UCI WorldTour teams against which they compete.

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