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Cannondale-Drapac will enforce its 2018 rider contracts, VeloNews has learned.
On Thursday team management sent an email to riders indicating that all 2018 contracts will be enforced. In the note, team CEO Jonathan Vaughters said: “As of right now, I am informing you that if you have a contract with Slipstreamsports for 2018, we are enforcing your contract. More to come.” VeloNews reached out to team staff for comment, and have yet to receive official word on the news.
The team backed up that email publicly on Friday, Tweeting that a new title sponsor will be revealed on Saturday.
Rumors of a new title sponsor circulated within the team early in the week, but riders and staff did not receive any official confirmation that a new backer had been found. As of late Wednesday, multiple sources within the team told VeloNews that team management was close to inking a deal to save the team, but were unclear on the details.
Midday Thursday, Vaughters tweeted the following:
Slipstream Sports, the management company behind Cannondale-Drapac, announced a $7 million funding shortfall in late August and immediately released all riders from their existing contracts while a new sponsor was sought. The news caught many cyclists and staffers off-guard, as the team had signed multiple riders for 2018, including Tour de France runner-up Rigoberto Uran. A crowdfunding effort was started following an outpouring of fan support. One of the team’s current partners, the Fairly Group, pledged to match all donations up to $2 million. As of press time, the effort had raised over $520,000, meaning approximately $1.1 million of the $7 million funding gap was closed.