As the cloud of uncertainty intensified over the B&B Hotels-KTM team and its possible signing as Mark Cavendish, the team’s current sprinter has no major concerns about the team’s future.
Luca Mozzato, a rising Italian talent who has scored five top-10 finishes on Tour de France stages, believes the worst possible result would see the team continue in its current form.
The French second division team led by Jérôme Pineau was expected to welcome major new sponsors for 2023, along with a number of big-name signings including Cavendish and frontman Max Richeze. However, a planned team presentation three weeks ago was canceled with a day’s notice and there has been new news since then, with reports in the French press indicating that Pineau’s plans are far from certain, and time is running out. time to secure new sponsors and register with the UCI. by 2023.
While that may leave Cavendish and others in a tight spot, Mozzato has suggested that the team will at least continue in its current structure, without expanding. B&B Hotels was ranked 23rd, just behind Astana Qazaqstan and Uno-X in the 2022 UCI team standings, securing a wild card invite to the Tour de France and other WorldTour races.
“I don’t know much more than what the media say, but I think it’s more a matter of understanding what the team’s budget will be,” Mozzato told Tuttobiciweb.
“In the worst case, the team should stay like this year, and that would be fine for me. I don’t have to worry at the moment.”
B&B Hotels-KTM, established in 2018, was unable to complete its registration with the UCI before the initial deadline of October 15, with the deadline of Tuesday, November 15 representing a more critical cutoff point.
There might still be a chance through an appeal process to the UCI Licensing Committee, but Pineau is in a race against time to find new sponsors, with Amazon France, Carrefour, Cdiscount and the city of Paris all rumored but never confirmed. The City of Paris was willing to lend its name to the project, but it later emerged that it would not contribute financially and may have withdrawn its support.
It is understood that the B&B Hotels chain is signing up for 2023, with a sponsorship of five million euros, which could, as Mozzato indicates, allow the team to continue next season with the cyclists it currently has contracted.
Mozzato himself signed a contract extension in the summer that takes him through 2025. The 24-year-old turned professional in 2020 and, while he has yet to win a race, he is seen as a bright prospect in sprint racing. and the Classics after a string of top-fives this season, as well as four top-10s in the Tour de France.
“Victory is a goal, not an obsession. I am sure that, working as I am, it will come sooner or later, although I am aware that if I had achieved it this year the season would have had a sweeter taste. it requires a bit of patience,” Mozzato told Tuttobici.
“I can’t give myself a very high rating because the declared goal at the beginning of the season was to win. Having said that, the season was certainly positive, I was always present even in the biggest events and I collected a lot of positions. I can give myself a seven , or a seven and a half, because anyway I took another step in the growth process, which is the most important thing”.