Giro d'Italia

Dennis: BMC Racing ‘still waiting on sponsor’

Rohan Dennis and his teammates hope that the legacy of BMC Racing founder Andy Rihs will live on with a new team sponsor.

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EILAT, Israel (VN) — Rohan Dennis said his teammates are hoping that the legacy of BMC Racing founder Andy Rihs will live on with a new team sponsor.

Dennis, who safely defended the pink jersey in Sunday’s frenetic third stage at the Giro d’Italia, said riders are still waiting to hear about the team’s future.

“At the moment I haven’t heard anything about a new sponsor. We’re still waiting,” Dennis said. “And hopefully we learn soon that we have a new sponsor for the next year.”

Rumors are flying that a new deal could be imminent.

BMC Racing team manager Jim Ochowicz has been working contacts to try to secure a sponsorship package to carry the team into 2019 and beyond.

Last week, the Belgian newspaper Het Nieuwsbladreported that an internal communication was passed to riders asking for them to wait for “another week or two” of some promising news before searching out new contracts.

BMC’s top riders are already getting nervous and no one wants to risk getting caught out with a deal for the next racing season. Classics star Greg Van Avermaet told Het Nieuwsbladlast month that he won’t for long.

“I’d love to stay with BMC Racing, but I cannot wait until July,” Van Avermaet told Het Nieuwsblad. “I can wait five or six weeks more. This will be last big contract of my career. That’s why it’s important for me to secure something.”

Dennis said he hopes Rihs’s legacy will live on with a new sponsor for the team.

The Swiss business magnate died last month after a long illness. He was 75. The demise of the cycling patron has thrown the future of one of the peloton’s best-funded teams into question.

“It would be a big shame if we don’t continue as a team,” Dennis said. “Just because Andy is not with us anymore doesn’t mean we have to end. It would be a shame.”