Reports from worried riders looking for alternative teams as Jerome Pineau’s project remains in jeopardy

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Jérôme Pineau’s hopes of salvaging his plan to lead men’s and women’s teams in 2023 seem to be hanging by a thread with the French media and BikeNews learning that riders who had accepted contracts with the French team for 2003 began to look for alternative options.

Pineau has until November 15 to save his team plans but with no major sponsor signed, and only a small part of next year’s budget provided by B&B Hotels, the situation is becoming increasingly difficult.

The French team boss has already missed the UCI’s original deadline to get a ProTeam license approved, and the margins for error are shrinking as the final deadline in November approaches.

Given what has been made public in terms of the team’s secure funds for next year, Pineau has just under 10 days to find additional millions of euros to solidify his plan, satisfy the UCI and have the bank guarantee approved.

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Last week BikeNews learned that a rider who had agreed with the French team for 2023 had already surveyed his current team to see if there was still a place for him if Pineau’s plans failed. Friday The Parisian published a story that pointed to even more disturbing details, with some riders still unpaid for 2022, Pineau desperate for an 11-hour merger with Israel Premier-Tech, and still no confirmed financial backing with several potential sponsors ruled out.

The words in The Parisian paint a desperate picture of developments in recent months

“On the day the Tour de France arrived, the Breton manager announced an association with the city of Paris (which did not put in any money) and the arrival of a big sponsor for a planned budget of between 15 and 20 million euros. Since then, even if the future signing of sprinter Mark Cavendish has been mentioned, it is a big blur with almost non-existent communication.

The only communication in recent weeks has come from the back of the team missing the first deadline set by the UCI. After missing out on the cut, Pineau then canceled the team presentation on October 26, the day before ASO announced next year’s Tour de France route.

The team has been linked with several major signings for 2023, including Mark Cavendish, Nick Shultz and Cees Bol, as well as 15 riders already under contract this year and seven rider extensions announced since the summer.

Following the cancellation of the team presentation, Pineau spoke to the French press.

“I understand that people are asking a lot of questions, I understand that there is a lot of discussion but, again, it’s just a setback. We are working, we are finalizing the file, we are fully focused on it. Pineau said. The Telegram.

“By nature, I am always worried. Given the current situation, we are never safe from a reversal of a partner or a runner. Today, it is not easy to take out a loan to buy a house or to guarantee a cycling team… But, once again, we are working. I hope everything will fall into place quickly. I have the people to fund my team. I am in constant contact with them. I believe in it, I hope for a nice announcement in November. That said, when we have announced everything, I will worry the next day whether it will work.”

The City of Paris, which Pineau said had supported the team, remained silent.

The Parisian continues by specifying that, “according to our information, the city of Paris could even completely leave the project of Jérôme Pineau and his associates in the coming days. If there was no money involved, it would be a strategic move for them. Especially since the Brittany region has already suspended its aid to the team. On the side of “big sponsors”, several tracks (Carrefour, Cdiscount, and even Amazon France) had been mentioned. None succeeded.

The Parisian also reported that Pineau attempted to merge his team with that of Israel-Premier Tech. BikeNews was unable to verify this claim but has contacted both teams for comment. Pineau’s press officer categorically denied the information in the French press, saying BikeNews“Thanks for asking. It never happened.”

Such a move would be highly impractical and unlikely given that Israel-Premier Tech, despite its possible relegation from the WorldTour, already has nearly 30 riders signed for 2023.

More worrying however for Pineau, the news that he will be required to appear before the DNCG Pro (the National Directorate of Control and Professional Management) of the National Cycling League (LNC) on Monday and to detail his project, according to cyclismactu.

According to the French publication, riders from the B&B Hotels-KTM team have already contacted the National Union of Professional Cyclists (UNCP) because several of them have not received their image rights from the sponsors of the crew. BikeNews contacted the team for comment on this.

“Jérôme continues to work and will have important meetings in the coming days,” said a spokesperson.

The UCI is expected to unveil a complete and final list of WorldTour and ProTeam teams on December 21.

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