Équipe Paule Ka closes shop following unpaid sponsor commitments – VeloNews.com

Équipe Paule Ka closes shop following unpaid sponsor commitments – VeloNews.com


“], “filter”: “nextExceptions”: “img, blockquote, div”, “nextContainsExceptions”: “img, blockquote” }”>

It’s the end of the road for Équipe Paule Ka.

Team officials confirmed Friday it will close shop on the women’s team effective immediately, citing unpaid financial commitments from title sponsors.

“After late payment of its first installment in July, the French fashion company Paule Ka then failed to pay the team in the months of August, September, and October, despite multiple assurances that the payments were on their way,” a statement read Friday. “It is with great regret that Équipe Paule Ka announces the immediate cessation of its racing season and, unfortunately, the closure of the team due to the absence of sponsor payments since August.”

The Swiss-based team has 13 riders on its roster, including American Leah Thomas who took third at Strade Bianche. The team also had an outstanding run at the Giro Rosa, with British rider Lizzy Banks winning a stage and breakout Kiwi star Mikayla Harvey nabbing the young rider’s jersey and finishing fifth overall.

The team’s finances hit turbulence with the coronavirus pandemic in April, when its previous title sponsors Bigla and Katusha announced they could no longer foot the team’s bill. In June, French fashion house Paule Ka came on as a new sponsor.

Here is the full team statement:

It is with great regret that Équipe Paule Ka announces the immediate cessation of its racing season and, unfortunately, the closure of the team – currently ranked fourth in the world with over 3000 UCI points – due to the absence of sponsor payments since August.

After late payment of its first installment in July, the French fashion company Paule Ka then failed to pay the team in the months of August, September, and October, despite multiple assurances that the payments were on their way.

This is an extremely sad moment in the 15-year history of this squad, which prides itself on the development of exciting young talent within the peloton. The team’s riders and staff were looking forward to spending several more years together in the pursuit of sportive success, having already recommenced the season with a series of victories and top results, including an emphatic Giro Rosa stage win, silver at the UCI World Championships, bronze at the European Championships, as well as multiple national championship titles.

However, this can regrettably no longer be our shared goal, with the team being forced to dissolve after a decade and a half in the peloton. Now, our main aim is to find both riders and staff new teams to secure their futures.

We would like to extend sincere thanks to cycling fans all over the world, followers of the team, and our competitors within the peloton, who have reached out to us during this challenging time to let us know that our presence in the peloton is one that would be sorely missed.





Source link