Team VIRTU Cycling to fold at the end of 2019 season
Virtu Cycling Group’s highly successful women World Tour team will fold at the end of the ongoing season. Despite its many great results, the team is missing out on partners and sponsors, who can ensure a balanced business case.
Virtu Cycling Group will shut down its World Tour Women’s team, Team VIRTU Cycling, at the end of this season.
Virtu Cycling owners, Bjarne Riis, Jan Bech Andersen and Lars Seier Christensen, are very sorry about the decision. But at the same time, the ownership agrees that, however difficult, it is the right decision. The team doesn’t have the sponsors and partners needed to ensure the women team can be run as a balanced business.
This must also be seen in light of the owners themselves having to fund the team since the start through quite a considerable grant out of their own pocket, which has amounted to millions.
”We are really sorry about the decision, particularly considering that together we have managed to create a really strong team over the past few years. And this season in particular, the team have delivered some truly fantastic results and competed among the best in the world.
But without the support from sponsors and partners it isn’t realistic for us to continue our engagement in women cycling. However difficult, we believe it is the right decision,” Bjarne Riis says.
Bjarne Riis would have liked to continue working with the team to further develop its riders and organization, and to build on the great results achieved in the first part of 2019. During the spring and the early summer, the team’s 14 riders have succeeded in multiple races, and amongst the wins are a superb victory for Marta Bastianelli in Tour of Flanders, one of the calendars biggest one-day races.
Now focus is on finishing 2019 off in fashion and to help the team’s riders and staff to move on to new challenges.
”To let everybody know about our decision in the middle of a season is a question of timing. We are trying to give our riders and staff the best possible options to find new employers for next season during the coming months, where most contract negotiations take place. We are trying to the best of our abilities to help our riders and staff move on,” Bjarne Riis adds.