CCC team seeks new main sponsor as riders accept pay cut
UCI WorldTour cycling’s CCC Team is seeking a new title sponsor after Polish shoe and bag retailer CCC elected to end its deal early as the company battles wider financial issues due to the coronavirus pandemic.
In July 2018, CCC agreed a deal to succeed Swiss bike manufacturer BMC as the road cycling team’s new title sponsor in a three-year deal running to the end of 2021.
However, CCC has now decided to step away a year early after being heavily impacted by the coronavirus pandemic and widespread lockdown, according to Flemish newspaper Het Nieuwsblad.
The CCC Group recently came to an agreement with several banks to secure financing over the next 12 months after its revenues dropped significantly due to the forced closure of its stores in Europe.
Bike manufacturer and team co-sponsor Giant said it will continue its sponsorship deal but will not look to step up to be the main sponsor.
It is unclear whether the decision affects the women’s CCC-Liv team, which has its own sponsorship deal with CCC.
CCC Team has reached an agreement to pay its male riders at least half of their annual salaries so they can continue to race during the 2020 season. Under the rules of cycling's governing body, salary cuts cannot leave riders earning less than the UCI minimum wage of €38,000 ($42,202).
Last month, team manager Jim Ochowicz said: “In order to have the budget to race should the season start again, we have had to temporarily suspend all but a handful of staff and heavily reduce rider salaries. As soon as racing can resume, we hope to be in a position to reinstate as many support staff as possible and reevaluate our budget.”
Last week, the UCI revealed a new August to November calendar for road cycling but a number of WorldTour teams are struggling financially amid the coronavirus shutdown. Astana, Lotto Soudal, Bahrain-McLaren and Michelton-Scott have reportedly reduced or deferred their riders' salaries.
Speaking to Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf on Monday, UCI president David Lappartient said: “We know that three, four, five teams have more problems than other teams. We hope they all reach the end of the season.”