Pro cycling was stunned Saturday when Slipstream Sports announced that its Cannondale-Drapac team may cease to exist in 2018. The team said that it needed a new sponsor to carry on. One day after that announcement, a new wrinkle emerged: The team may resort to crowdfunding to ease the budget shortfall.
For now, the crowdfunding website is simply registering interest among fans. A simple statement explained the objective:
“When we shared the news of our uncertain future, #GreenArgyle fans responded with an incredible show of support. Inspired by your feedback, we are in the process of crowdsourcing a fundraiser that we hope will allow us to continue our cycling team for the 2018 season. While we get all our ducks in a row, please register your interest in officially joining the Slipstream Sports family for the upcoming season.”
Slipstream has to raise a significant amount of funds to keep the team going.
“We need $16M to have a good team. We are $7M short. And the first name is open.” team CEO Jonathan Vaughters told VeloNews on Saturday, indicating that the primary naming rights for the team are available.
For now, all riders and staff have been released from 2018 contracts. CyclingNews reports that Tour de France podium finisher and stage winner Rigoberto Uran has given the team two weeks to come up with a solution before he seeks a new squad.
The Cannondale-Drapac team is also home to a number of American cyclists: Taylor Phinney, Andrew Talansky, Alex Howes, Nathan Brown, and Lawson Craddock.
The crowdfunding page also notes that the fundraiser would be based on a tiered structure. “A tiered structure will offer rewards to all individuals and businesses that contribute a minimum donation of $100.”