Dimension Data team manager Doug Ryder is hoping to keep both Deloitte as a major sponsor and Mark Cavendish as a team leader in 2019 as the African WorldTour team tries to fight back after a testing spring hit by injuries to a string of leading riders.
Last week the usually well-informed Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf first reported that Deloitte would no longer back the Dimension Data team in 2019 and instead join up with bike brand Giant to replace BMC as title sponsor of Jim Ochowicz’s squad for 2019.
Cyclingnews understands that Ochowicz has confirmed to his riders that the reports of Deloitte coming on board are not true and he is hoping to fund a team for 2019 via sponsorship from Giant, as well as existing partners Sophos, and Swisse Vitamin.
The reports about Deloitte caused Ryder a few sleepless nights. He was with a group of important Deloitte guests at the Tour of California when De Telegraaf published its story, and Deloitte never confirmed or denied the reports.
The precarious nature of professional cycling and the huge budgets needed to sign the biggest riders and provide them with the best support means the WorldTour is often dog eat dog and a battle of survival. However, Ryder ruled out a merger with the BMC Racing team, despite reports that Dimension Data will ride BMC bikes in 2019. He is focused on securing the next phase of the African team’s future and is convinced the team can continue to help develop African riders and help African children via the Qhubeka charity.
“There are lots of conversations going on with sponsors all the time and I don’t think reports like that help anyone, neither us or even Jim Ochowicz as he tries to secure the future of his team,” Ryder told Cyclingnews at the Giro d’Italia.
Keeping Cavendish is key
Riding the down wave, working to get back up
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