Circus-Wanty Gobert will play at WorldTour level next year. The Belgian ProTeam of team manager Jean-François Bourlart has bought the shares of Jim Ochowicz and his Continuum Sport LCC. On Monday evening, the parties reached an agreement on the takeover. There is no merger.
As a result, the team of Danny van Poppel, Maurits Lammertink and Quinten Hermans, among others, is assured of participation in the Tour de France for the next three years. That was announced at a press conference on Tuesday afternoon. Behind the scenes, the Walloon team is working hard to increase the current budget of seven million euros. The three main sponsors would have proposed this on their own initiative to Bourlart.
Ochowicz himself will act as an advisor for the third Belgian team in the WorldTour. The American will share his experiences in order to make the transition to the highest level. “We are happy to be able to pave the way to the WorldTour for Circus-Wanty Gobert,” said the American. “Our experience puts us in a good position to assist this team with their transition where necessary. Due to ambitious long-term goals and a shared vision, it is an ideal match. ”
Bourlart has work to do
Bourlart is naturally delighted with the big news. “The moment had to be right, the structure had to be ready and our partners had to be willing to follow,” he says. “We are therefore proud to take over this project from Jim Ochowicz and Gavin Chillcot and to guarantee the continuity of Continuum Sports in the WorldTour at the UCI. We will do everything we can to ensure the future. I am confident that we will be a successful WorldTour team. ”
The Belgian team will then have to take the necessary steps. At the moment, there are only eighteen riders under contract for 2021, where 32 are allowed. Since there is no merger, it is still unclear what will happen with the current current agreements of the CCC riders. These are the Czech Jan Hirt, the Germans Jonas Koch and Georg Zimmermann, the Russians Pavel Kochetkov and Ilnur Zakarin and the Hungarian Attila Valter.
However, Zakarin is reportedly in the interest of Gazprom-RusVelo and Valter can sign a contract with Groupama-FDJ. Zimmermann could then go back to work at NTT Pro Cycling, but they are also in the bad papers there. The South African WorldTour team does not yet have a sponsor for next year, so that riders such as Michael Valgren, Victor Campenaerts, Giacomo Nizzolo, Edvald Boasson Hagen and old acquaintance Enrico Gasparotto can still be picked up.
Current contracts for Circus-Wanty Gobert 2021
Jeremy Bellicaud (22)
Loved By Gendt (26)
Jasper Plus (23)
Ludwig De Winter (27)
Théo Delacroix (21)
Odd Christian Eiking (25)
Alexander Evans (23)
Quinten Hermans (25)
Wesley Kreder (29)
Maurits Lammertink (30)
Simone Petilli (27)
Baptiste Planckaert (32)
Lorenzo Rota (25)
Rein Taaramäe (33)
Corné van Kessel (29)
Boy van Poppel (32)
Danny van Poppel (27)
Loïc Flies (26)
Ongoing contracts CCC
Jan Hirt (29)
Jonas Koch (27)
Pavel Kochetkov (34)
Attila Valter (22)
Ilnur Zakarin (31)
Georg Zimmermann (22)
At CCC there are also thirteen riders who have an expiring contract this season. These include all-rounder Simon Geschke (34), sprinter Jakub Mareczko (26), classic man Łukasz Wiśniowski (28) and the Belgians Serge Pauwels (36) and Guillaume Van Keirsbulck (29). The latter is an old acquaintance of Wanty-Gobert. In 2017 and 2018 he drove for the Bourlart formation.
It is not clear at the moment how the CCC training team – including talents such as Polish champion Stanisław Aniołkowski (sprinter), time trialist Szymon Krawcyk, the Czech Petr Kelemen and the Russian climbing talent Savva Novikov – is doing. Ochowicz previously indicated that he only wanted to save the WorldTour team at first. Women’s team CCC-Liv is a separate entity and has already announced that their future is already secured.
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