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Mitchelton-Scott is secure in its funding and organisation for a further two years, according to lead sport director Matt White, who spoke at length on the subject on the SBS Cycling Central podcast.
Gerry Ryan, the businessman behind Mitchelton Wines and a host of other companies that have graced the team’s kit over the years, stepped in to “steady the ship,” according to White. Ryan committed to funding the team for two more years.
The future of the team was thrown into question when a deal with Manuela Fundacion was first cobbled together behind the scenes and then fell apart quite publicly over the course of six weeks in May and June.
“The big difference and the thing that has really steadied the ship is obviously the commitment from Gerry Ryan,” White said. “Everybody in the organisation, young or old, everyone knows that when Gerry says something it happens.
“Once everybody knew that, there was no way we’d be carrying any negativity into the second part of the season or the future. I think you’ll see in our team [the men’s team] and the women’s team, a very similar line-up for the next few years. There won’t be many changes with staff or riders, and we’re looking forward to be getting back on the road and winning again.”
Sources close to the team told CyclingTips that the partnership with the nascent Spanish not-for-profit Manuela Fundacion was organised by Mitchelton-Scott’s general manager, Shayne Bannan, without fully consulting Ryan. Bannan was seeking a way forward as the team hit financial difficulties, according to these sources. Mitchelton-Scott riders had been on decreased pay since February.
As the deal fell apart, it became clear that Ryan was consulted only minimally through the process. Bannan and Mitchelton-Scott financial manager Alvaro Crespi were let go. Brought in were Brent Copeland, the former manager of the Bahrain-McLaren squad, and Darach McQuaid, a longtime player in the sports marketing space and younger brother of former UCI President Pat McQuaid. McQuaid takes a newly created Chairman position within GreenEdge cycling and will liaise directly with Ryan.