Road

NTT Pro Cycling finding the road to sponsorship tough to navigate

With just weeks until the start of 2021, team manager Bjarne Riis is not optimistic about the team's future.

NTT Pro cycling manager Bjarne Riis is hitting roadblocks in finding a title sponsor to help save the team which has been in existence since 2007.

With just weeks until 2021, Riis is having a hard time being optimistic.

“It’s unrealistic to think a new sponsor will magically appear now,” said Riis.

In September the team issued a press statement reading, “Team principal Douglas Ryder informed all members of our organization that NTT will not continue with the team, ending our six-year association.”

Previously racing as Dimension Data from 2016 through 1019, the South African-registered team is still without a title sponsor as the 2020 season draws to a close.

Comparing cycling to other, large-scale spectator sports, Riis pitched cycling as a better investment than other sports with major television broadcast viewership.

“It’s a shame because cycling offers huge sponsor potential for much less investment than Formula 1 or football,” said the Dane.

Already, riders have left for contract guarantees for the coming year, while others still search for contracts.

Most recently, Ben O’Conner had several brilliant rides in the Giro d’Italia, including a stage 17 win, and secured a contract with Ag2r-Citroën for 2021.

Giacomo Nizzolo won the 2020 Italian national championship as well as the European championship.