UCI World Tour level team CCC has suspended the contracts of the majority of its staff and cut riders’ wages. The team says that by operating “at a minimum level” during the current non-racing period, it hopes to continue. However, its title sponsor has said that it wants to cut its contract short.
Polish footwear company CCC took over sponsorship of the team from BMC last season. However, CCC sales and share prices have dropped during the coronavirus outbreak and the firm’s founder Dariusz Milek recently told Rowery: “We are now fighting for our business, so there is no room for sentiment when it comes to actions that bring a reduction in costs. It would be immoral to reduce employee costs while excluding cyclists."
The firm has a sponsorship contract for this year and next, but Milek says he wants to withdraw from it at low cost.
CCC Team President Jim Ochowicz said: “The decision to make widespread cuts has been a painful process and one that we did not foresee even a matter of weeks ago.
“The economic implications of the Covid-19 pandemic have had a drastic effect on business for our title sponsor CCC and like other professional cycling teams, we are now faced with a lack of cash flow due to unforeseen reductions in our sponsorships.
“This aspect of our business is beyond our control. We know there will be no racing until June at the earliest but the situation is constantly evolving and right now, we can only act on a short-term basis.
“In order to have the budget to race should the season start again, we have had to temporarily suspend all but a handful of staff and heavily reduce rider salaries.
“As soon as racing can resume, we hope to be in a position to reinstate as many support staff as possible and reevaluate our budget.”
Riders from a number of other teams have recently accepted pay cuts during the pandemic and resultant pause in racing, including Astana, Lotto Soudal and Bahrain-McLaren.