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Hello again, CyclingTips readers.
Welcome to another week, which arrives with headlines from the racing world that feature team sponsorship news, some contract updates, and, unfortunately, confirmation that yet another race will not be held in 2020.
For starters, CCC team manager Jim Ochowicz confirmed that the search is on for another sponsor with CCC deciding to pull out as title sponsor one year earlier than planned. That’s going to be a tough ask, but at least Ochowicz has experience in that department, having helmed teams for decades.
Meanwhile, Ag2r has signed former under-23 road champ Benoit Cosnefroy to an extension, even as rumors swirl about the potential departure of Romain Bardet. Cosnefroy, 24, may not have the name recognition yet, but he’s a very promising young rider who was off to a great start in 2020 before the racing hiatus.
And then there’s German WorldTour one-day Eschborn-Frankurt, which apparently won’t be happening in 2020. Organizers had initially postponed the race in the hopes of finding a new date, but they announced on Monday that rescheduling the event in 2020 won’t be happening, an unfortunate development for German cycling fans, who don’t have many opportunities to see racing on home turf as it is.
| Ochowicz confirms search for new sponsor with CCC departing
In a statement on Monday, CCC team manager Jim Ochowicz confirmed that a search is underway for a new title sponsor with CCC set to depart from that role. CCC took over the title sponsorship of the organization formerly known as BMC in a deal that was initially set to run through the 2021 season, but the Polish footwear brand is pulling out amid financial woes.
“Looking ahead to the 2021 season, CCC will no longer be the title sponsor so we are now actively looking for a new title sponsor,” Ochowicz said. “We are in an unprecedented time but we are confident there are companies that want to invest in cycling, especially given the global rise in popularity of bike riding in recent months.”
| No Eschborn-Frankfurt in 2020
Eschborn-Frankfurt organizers announced on Monday that the event will not be rescheduled in 2020.
Organizers of the sprinter-friendly one-day – won last year by Pascal Ackermann – had initially postponed the event in the hopes of finding a new date on the calendar, but said on Monday that won’t be happening.
| Ag2r extends Cosnefroy
French up-and-comer Benoit Cosnefroy will ride on with Ag2r La Mondiale through 2023, the team announced on Monday. The versatile youngster, who won the under-23 world title in 2017, was off to a strong start in 2020 with victories at the GP La Marseillaise and Etoile de Bessèges before racing was halted.
The signing is the latest in a string of renewals for the Ag2r team, which nonetheless has yet to extend GC star Romain Bardet. Recent media reports have suggested that the French climber has been talking with other teams with his contract with Ag2r running out at the end of the year.
| Quintana expects Ineos’s multiple leader approach to work fine
Ineos is likely to bring three leaders to the Tour de France this year in Egan Bernal, Chris Froome, and Geraint Thomas, and the squad has gotten a vote of confidence in that plan from someone with plenty of experience in the realm of multi-pronged attacks: Nairo Quintana.
“Surely they will have the ability to manage everything very well and, with the team they have, they will manage to have no rivalries,” Quintana said in an interview with Marca that covered a variety of interesting topics. “It’s a serious line-up, which, in the end, will solve everything during the race.”
| Specialized commits $10 million to non-profit
Specialized has announced that it will invest $10 million over the next three years in the efforts of its non-profit Outride, “whose mission is to build the next generation of riders through school and youth development programs, as well as providing access to safe places to ride.” The organization is committed to working with a clearer focus on underrepresented and underserved youth moving forward.
Additionally, Specialized has said that it has upped its funding to the Legion of Los Angeles team “to further their work of increasing diversity and encouraging inclusion in cycling,” and giving the squad “complete discretion” on how to use the funds.
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Today’s featured image of Pascal Ackermann winning Eschborn-Frankfurt comes from Cor Vos.