Jakub Mareczko (Vini Zabù) waves at the crowd during the 2021 Il Lombardia team presentation.

Italian team Vini Zabù faces potentially fatal financial difficulties

It has not been a good year for team Vini Zabù. After being forced to withdraw from the 2021 Giro, the team now faces an uncertain future.

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Italian ProTeam Vini Zabù is reportedly facing potentially fatal financial difficulties.

La Gazetta dello Sport reported on Friday that the team had informed the news outlet directly that the future of the team is in doubt. No details or reasons were given, but rumours suggest that title sponsor Vini Zabù is nearing an agreement with WorldTeam Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux, a move that would leave the Italian outfit in the lurch.

This news comes hot on the heels of Delko’s folding with immediate effect earlier this week, and the announcement that Qhubeka-NextHash has not yet submitted its application for a WorldTour license for 2022.

Of the 24 riders on the Vini Zabù team, sprinter Jakub Mareczko is the biggest name and the only one to earn victories this season, at the Umag Trophy in Croatia and stage 1a of the Coppi e Bartali, both in March. 2021 has otherwise been one to forget for the Italian ProTeam, their most notable headlines coming in the run-up to the Giro d’Italia after Matteo De Bonis was notified of two Adverse Analytical Findings for EPO – the team’s second within a 12-month period – which led to the team’s forced withdrawal from their biggest event of the season.

Mareczko, who has 44 pro wins to his name and a handful of top-three GrandTour stage finishes, is one of four riders under contract with the team until the end of 2022. If Vini Zabù does indeed fold, the 27-year-old Italian – who last raced in CCC colours – will find himself scrambling for a new home for the second time in just 12 months.

More to come.

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