Jim Ochowicz continued to stress that there is no deadline as he looks to save his BMC Racing Team from going under, despite several high-profile riders being heavily linked to rival teams and time desperately running out.
BMC will pull the plug on sponsoring the team at the end of the season, and although Ochowicz has told his riders that there are potential sponsors ‘in the pipeline’, nothing has been signed or announced. Leading riders Greg Van Avermaet and Richie Porte have been linked to several teams, while Rohan Dennis is on the verge of signing for Bahrain-Merida, as reported by Cyclingnews earlier this month.
Without marquee riders, Ochowicz would struggle further to attract potential sponsors, although he denied reports that claimed he told reporters at the Tour de Suisse that he had ‘no money’. On the contrary, those words were not accurately quoted and Ochowicz does have funds in the bank from secondary sponsors, such as Tag Heuer. Despite that glimmer of hope, the situation remains bleak.
“I don’t have a deadline. I don’t need a deadline,” he told Cyclingnews and other reporters at the start of stage 4 in Switzerland.
“There could be a worst-case scenario where we don’t find a sponsor, but there isn’t a deadline or a magic date for the whole thing collapsing. Even if I had it all done now and was able to sit down and negotiate with the riders, that doesn’t mean they’re going to stay either.”
Ochowicz has a history of finding sponsors that stretches back to the 1980s, when most of his current roster were either in nappies or not yet born. He also brought Motorola into the sport in the mid-1990s before they too dropped out at the end of the 1996 season despite riders such as Lance Armstrong, Sean Yates and Max Sciandri being on Ochowicz’s books.
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