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Future uncertain for Drone Hopper, riders told to search out new contracts

Backers of Gianni Savio's long-running team have not met required UCI financial guarantees for 2023, reports La Gazzetta dello Sport.

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The future is uncertain for Italian second-tier squad Drone Hopper-Androni Giocattoli for 2023.

Team boss Gianni Savio said the team’s backers have not put up required financial guarantees for next season, and he’s told his riders they’re free to seek new contracts.

“Drone Hopper is a start-up and that project has not quite got off the ground,” Savio told La Gazzetta dello Sport. “There are delays in funding. We would like to continue, but to do this we need guarantees. At the moment it is not certain whether they will be there before 2023.”

The Madrid-based company, which manufactures drones used in fires, agriculture and logistics solutions, signed a contract with the Italian team last year until the end of 2025. The squad races at the ProTeam second-tier level just below the WorldTour.

Savio told VeloNews last year he was harboring dreams of bringing the team into the WorldTour. Now Savio, whose presence in the peloton dates back to the 1980s, said he’s scrambling to patch things together for next year, but gave his riders freedom to secure their respective futures.

“The payments for the remainder of this year are in order,” Savio said. “In 2022 we will have no more problems and I have to thank Sidermec for that in particular. They have never let us down.”