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Despite the collapse of the organization’s plans to take over the Mitchelton-Scott team, the Manuela Fundación could soon have a presence at the WorldTour level anyway. The Spanish non-profit is in talks to invest in the CCC team, which has been on the hunt for a title sponsor since Polish footwear brand CCC decided that it would be pulling out of that role at the end of this year.
La Gazzetta dello Sport reported on Thursday morning that the Manuela Fundación and the CCC team are working on a deal, and a source close to the Manuela Fundación’s sporting operation has confirmed that information to CyclingTips.
The Manuela Fundación first emerged as a potential WorldTour sponsor in June, when Mitchelton-Scott announced that it would be becoming Team Manuela Fundación, but an arrangement between the team and the Granada-based non-profit was called off by Mitchelton-Scott owner Gerry Ryan.
Ryan would explain in later interviews that he did want to give up ownership of the squad, which was a part of the deal that was largely negotiated by Shayne Bannan and Álvaro Crespi, who are no longer with the team.
Ryan’s decision to pull the plug left the Manuela Fundación surprised and confused—but the organization now appears set to join the WorldTour through a different route.
As La Gazzetta reports, the Manuela Fundación is ready to invest €10 million in the outfit currently known as the CCC Team, which has been in dire financial straits for the past few months. The American squad, run by veteran manager Jim Ochowicz, made major cuts to staff and reduced rider pay in April.
Ochowicz said in June that he would not be commenting on ongoing sponsorship talks until a deal was cemented.
TuttoBiciWeb reports that the arrangement between the Manuela Fundación and CCC is currently expected to run for five years.