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The Mitchelton-Scott organization will be known as Team Manuela Fundación for the remainder of the 2020 season, sporting brand new kit to go with its new sponsor.
The Australian WorldTour outfit has announced that it has come to a “longterm agreement” with Manuela Fundación, a nascent non-profit that will officially launch on October 4 “with an overly ambitious project in aid of social work.” The organization is based in Granada, Spain.
The news comes following a handful of media reports over the past few months suggesting financial uncertainty for the Mitchelton-Scott team, with the team making significant cuts in April.
Team owner Gerry Ryan has provided much of the funding for the team over the past two seasons, with his Mitchelton Wines taking over as a title sponsor following the departure of Australian mining and explosives company Orica at the end of the 2017 season.
“After an unsettling and uncertain period, particularly in recent months, we are thrilled to have the support of Mr Francisco Huertas and the Manuela Fundación to ensure our future in 2021 and beyond,” Ryan said in a statement.
“We have always believed in our product and values as a team for prospective partners, but the significance of this long-term deal is not lost on us, especially considering the recent hardships of not only the cycling world and sports industry, but the wider world’s health and economic climate.”
The team has confirmed to CyclingTips that the name changeover will come in July of this year. Beyond that, the exact terms of the new deal with Manuela Fundación remain unknown, but the team’s press release implied that the partnership would extend for multiple years.
Manuela Fundación (which would be pronounced man-WELL-ah foon-dah-THYON in Spain, or foon-dah-SYON in Latin America) is run by the aforementioned Francisco Huertas and his wife Maria Angustias González, according to the team’s press release.
“It’s been an intense period of hard work between Manuela Fundación sports director Emilio Rodríguez and Mitchelton-Scott general manager Shayne Bannan. It’s an incredible opportunity and an honor to be able to reach this agreement,” said Huertas.
“We want to thank Gerry Ryan for all of his work and contribution so far, which has taken the team to its best. Now we will continue to boost this legacy and give great joy to the fans of this sport.”