Le Col-Wahoo struggles for funding after sponsor pulls out of deal

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Le Col-Wahoo is forced to look for a new sponsor for 2023 at the end of the season after one of its sponsors withdrew from their deal on Wednesday. VeilNews has learned.

The officials did not confirm which of their sponsors had withdrawn, but said VeilNews it would leave a hole of about 400,000 euros in his budget, in total about 45 percent of his total sponsorship.

Both Le Col and Wahoo signed on for this season, bringing the second division team’s budget to almost €1 million.

With one of them dropping out, he has left the team scrambling to secure spots for its best riders on other teams, while also trying to find a new big-money sponsor to fill the void left behind.

“One of our main partners has said that they cannot honor their agreement with us, so last night I informed all the riders and staff that they should find another deal,” team manager Tom Varney said. VeilNews. “I’m also talking to other managers I know to try to help them with that as one of our priorities. As of this morning, I think three or four of them have something, which is useful.

“If we can get past some of our highest-paid riders, we have a better chance of continuing. We have a few other ongoing conversations to fill the gap, but as things evolve over the next few hours and days, I think what we can do next year will become more clear. It’s a particularly unfair situation, especially at this stage.”

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The news of the sponsor’s unexpected departure comes as the world grapples with the financial fallout from the coronavirus pandemic and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

With the cost of many materials rising and many people cutting back as the cost of living rises, businesses are cutting costs and sports sponsorship can be a quick save for some.

Ahead of this week’s news, Le Col-Wahoo announced a 12-rider roster, with five new riders joining an existing core of seven.

Despite the blow, Varney remains hopeful that he will still have a team next season.

What that will look like depends largely on whether he can bring another sponsor on board, though.

“As it stands, we have our second highest budget for next year, so it’s still a positive situation based on what we’re used to. It’s not close to what we had last season,” Varney said. “I think the most likely situation is that we will continue at a lower level, but I don’t know what that will look like and what structure and race program we can offer.

“I’m not walking away from it, and I’m trying to help the riders and talking to the managers. We have a lot of good people who have taken it pretty well considering. Let’s see how he gets involved.”

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