A French/Slovenian collaboration, dubbed JFA Project, is seeking sponsorship to build a WorldTour team for 2016.
The group is seeking 10-15 million euro to fund the team, but management would not provide any indication regarding its proximity to that goal.
“To date, we are negotiating with several international companies,” said the fledgling team’s manager Julien Legros.
The team’s objectives for its first season, according to a sponsorship document obtained by VeloNews, include a win at the Tour of Slovenia, a victory in a UCI category 1 or 2 event, and starts in the Tour de France, Giro d’Italia, and Vuelta a España, which would be guaranteed by a WorldTour license.
“The goal is to target the WorldTour because it is important for sponsors to be present at the three tours,” said Legros.
If WorldTour status is denied, the team will apply for Pro Continental status, according to Legros.
Cyril Dessel, a retired French racer who once wore the yellow jersey in the Tour de France, has joined the group as its sport director. Patrick Chastagnier, who worked as a mechanic for Greg LeMond and his La Vie Claire team, will be the equipment and logistics manager.
The sponsorship document states that the team’s founders have 20 riders “in sight,” of the 24 total it will seek to hire. The riders cannot be named due to UCI regulations, which bar discussions between riders and management outside the annual August 1 to October 20 transfer window.
The document further states that any rider signing with the team must agree to an ethics contract which bars doping. The team will apply for MPCC (Movement For Credible Cycling) membership, and any rider found guilty of doping will be immediately removed.
The group is seeking to finalize its sponsorship and budget by the end of March, little more than a week away, in order to allow time for finalizing all documents before the UCI’s WorldTour team application deadline of August 1.