Team Nürnberger left without sponsor
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Saturday, December 5, 2009

Team Nürnberger left without sponsor

by Bjorn Haake at 7:33 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling

The future of Team Nürnberger is all but uncertain, after new main sponsor Skyter suddenly decided to withdraw from the project. Skyter was presented August, but is supposed to officially withdraw its partnership today.

Skyter's website was unreachable Saturday morning. The sudden ending of the talks may cause the folding of the team. This would leave 14 professionals without a job at a time when the preparation for the new season is supposed to start. The unlucky group includes Nicole Cooke and Trixie Worrack.

Fingers are pointed both ways. Skyter declared on that the financial need of the team wasn't clearly laid out to them. "We expect a major funding gap that would jeopardize running the team," a statement from the yacht company read. Skyter regrets any trouble caused to the riders and wishes them good luck in their careers.

But whether their careers continue remains uncertain, at least for some riders. The team's directeur sportif Jochen Dornbuschwas quite stunned about the development. "This is a catastrophe. We were fully preparing for the season and had already planned the first races," he said. "I don't believe in miracles - where should a sponsor magically appear now?"

Udo Sprenger, vice president of the German Cycling federation BDR was equally pessimistic. "This is dramatic for cycling in Germany, if the only German women's pro team is not materializing. It is going to be tough for the management to compensate for the main sponsor quitting."

The team's management was contacted by Skyter a few days ago, where it became apparent that some co-sponsors that Skyter was relying on jumped clear of the project. However, the Team Nürnberger management and riders never knew about those sponsors, as their agreement was with Skyter only.

The sponsor apparently postponed payments, using different kinds of excuses. "Our budget is clearly laid out like in years past. In faith of Skyter's commitment, all contracts with athletes and suppliers were made. If Skyter will breach the contract, the Equipe Nürnberger will make claims for damages." The management also said that Skyter was always involved in every step of the planning, even suggesting a jersey design.


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