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Douglas Ryder's WorldTour team likely to race on in 2021

Cycling News logo Cycling News 11/16/2020 Daniel Benson
a group of people riding on the back of a bicycle: NTT Ghebreigzabhier Giro stage 12 2020 Cesenatico © Provided by Cycling News NTT Ghebreigzabhier Giro stage 12 2020 Cesenatico

Reports from several sources indicate that Douglas Ryder will run a WorldTour team next year after a last-minute solution was found to keep his current NTT-backed team in the sport.

Title sponsors NTT are set to step down from the team at the end of 2020 in a move that was confirmed in September, but Cyclingnews understands that the team’s backroom staff are busily building a roster for next year and seeking out-of-contract riders.

It’s not clear who the main backer of the team will be in 2021 but the squad’s budget is set to be around the eight-million Euro mark. That’s a low figure compared to almost every other WorldTour team, but one source told Cyclingnews that riders are being approached on the basis that they might race for around the minimum wage, which currently stands at 38,000 Euros for WorldTour riders.

The team have been approached for comment but have not yet responded.

A number of high-profile riders have already left the team with Michael Valgren departing for EF Pro Cycling, and Louis Meintjes set to move to Circus-Wanty Gobert at the end of the season, while Ben O’Connor is leaving for AG2R Citröen. The team still has riders under contract for next year, including Domenico Pozzovivo, Max Walscheid, and Victor Campenaerts.

“It’s not 100 per cent but normally today or in the next day we’ll have confirmation that the team will be here next year,” Pozzovivo told Cyclingnews on Monday.

“We’re just waiting for the confirmation and if the team continues then I’ll stay. I think it will be WorldTour next year and I’m optimistic and confident in Douglas Ryder. He is doing the maximum and it’s not easy to find sponsors. I don’t know exactly who the sponsor will be.”

Directeur sportif Lars Michaelsen declined to comment on the certainty of the team’s future, only telling Cyclingnews that, “it was a working process to try and survive. Whether that’s successful or not I can’t answer that one.”

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