Circus-Wanty Gobert buy UCI WorldTour license from CCC Team

Belgian team Circus-Wanty will step into the UCI WorldTour in 2021 after purchasing the license of CCC Team.

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Belgian pro-continental squad Circus-Wanty Gobert is slated to join the UCI WorldTour in 2021 after purchasing the WorldTour racing license from Continuum Sports, the management company that currently operates CCC Team.

Circus-Wanty Gobert announced the news Tuesday morning.

Jean-François Bourlart, general manager of Want You Cycling, the parent company of the team, said he had no doubts that the squad would become a WorldTour success.

“We are therefore very proud today to take over the project from Jim Ochowicz and Gavin Chilcott and present to the UCI the continuation of Continuum Sports in the WorldTour,” Bourlart said. “With the long experience of Jim Ochowicz and Gavin Chilcott, we will do everything possible to ensure the sustainability of our WorldTour project. I have no doubts that our team will become a success in the World Tour, as it has at the Professional Continental level over the years, and as BMC Racing Team and CCC Team have too.”

The license transfer ends months of speculation as to what would become of CCC Team, which was slated to disappear at the end of the 2020 season after its title sponsor revealed its intention to depart following the season. Continuum is co-owned by Americans Gavin Chilcott and Jim Ochowicz, who previously managed the BMC Racing team owned by Swiss businessman Andy Rihs.

“Since the inception of Continuum Sports in 2007, we have made our mark on the cycling world with BMC Racing Team and CCC Team, and we are well-positioned to assist Circus – Wanty Gobert in this transition to the WorldTour,” Ochowicz said in a release. “With ambitious long-term goals and a shared vision, we believe Circus – Wanty Gobert, under the leadership of Jean-François Bourlart, is an ideal fit to carry on the Continuum Sports legacy and we are in a position to support their efforts where needed.”

How the merger will re-shape the two teams is yet to be seen. Already CCC Team has seen a number of high-profile departures for 2021, namely longtime star Greg van Avermaet, who heads to AG2R-La Mondiale. There are other riders on the team who have not yet found a destination for the coming season.

Want-You Cycling was founded in 2001 and in recent years has acted as a springboard for Belgian and French riders. In 2019, it helped shepherd Guillaume Martin to a top-15 finish at the Tour de France. Martin jumped to Cofidis for 2020 and battled for the GC with the squad.