Unique interview with Lizzy Banks after sponsors power biking workforce Equipe Paule Ka to shut

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Tom Bennett


“Paule Ka threw us a lifeline .… it’s been ripped away.”

Lizzy Banks has spoken brazenly to Eurosport concerning the massively disappointing information that Equipe Paule Ka have been pressured to shut with speedy impact.

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The ladies’s continental Tour workforce misplaced investments from Bigla and Katusha in April because the influence of coronavirus hit the game. However the workforce have been rescued by French firm Paule Ka in June with a supposed three-and-a-half 12 months deal.

Banks says that rescue bundle by no means materialised with the workforce confirming in an announcement on Friday that the sponsors haven’t made a single of the scheduled funds since August.

Watch the total unique interview with Lizzy Banks on shock closure of girls’s biking workforce Equipe

And in a captivating interview with Eurosport’s Orla Chennaoui, Banks says that the sponsors haven’t simply let down her and the workforce, however the entirety of girls’s sport.

“(I really feel) massively let down by Paule Ka, by their administration, their proprietor Matthias,” Banks stated.

“He threw us a lifeline and we have been all so grateful and so praise-giving in the direction of him, when he’d come on board in the midst of a pandemic and dedicated to us for three-and-a-half years.

We paid that again instantly by going on the market and getting some outcomes that are unprecedented for World Tour groups generally, not to mention a small continental workforce who’ve managed to lift their approach as much as fourth on the earth.

“We believed that we had every part going for us. A small workforce combating and attaining and getting outcomes on the highest degree, and we have been going to proceed to take action for the subsequent three years and we have been working in the direction of being a World Tour workforce. And all of the sudden all of it will get ripped from you.

“I’m so indignant that he has allow us to down like this and he has let ladies’s sport down. It’s put us able the place we’re negotiating for contracts at a time when it’s horrible to barter for contracts proper now. If we’d have all been available on the market one month in the past then it might be a really completely different scenario.

However regardless of that, we thought that ladies’s biking was in a greater place, as a result of we thought we had a sponsor who actually believed in us, who believed in what we might do.

“I don’t wish to be bitter about this sport, I don’t need it to make me bitter, nevertheless it’s a very, actually arduous tablet to swallow.”

The workforce boss of Equipe Paule Ka, Thomas Campana, advised Eurosport that he hadn’t heard from the sponsors for over two weeks earlier than they knowledgeable him the have been pulling out of the settlement.

Campana additionally revealed that he has been personally paying the employees’s wages for the previous three months within the absence of funds from the sponsors.

The written settlement with Paule Ka, in keeping with Campana, runs by to the top of this 12 months, with a verbal settlement that the partnership can be prolonged by three years upon the workforce attaining World Tour standing.

Lizzy Banks: ‘Paule Ka threw us a lifeline; it’s been ripped away.’

EQUIPE PAULE KA PRESS RELEASE

It’s with nice remorse that Équipe Paule Ka broadcasts the speedy cessation of its racing season and, sadly, the closure of the workforce – at present ranked fourth on the earth with over 3000 UCI factors – as a result of absence of sponsor funds since August.

After late cost of its first instalment in July, the French trend firm Paule Ka then didn’t pay the workforce within the months of August, September and October, regardless of a number of assurances that the funds have been on their approach.

That is an especially unhappy second within the 15-year historical past of this squad, which prides itself on the event of thrilling younger expertise throughout the peloton. The workforce’s riders and employees have been trying ahead to spending a number of extra years collectively within the pursuit of sportive success, having already recommenced the season with a collection of victories and prime outcomes, together with an emphatic Giro Rosa stage win, silver on the UCI World Championships, bronze on the European Championships, in addition to a number of nationwide championship titles.

Nevertheless, this could regrettably now not be our shared purpose, with the workforce being pressured to dissolve after a decade and a half within the peloton. Now, our most important goal is to search out each riders and employees new groups to safe their futures.

We want to lengthen honest due to biking followers everywhere in the world, followers of the workforce, and our opponents throughout the peloton, who’ve reached out to us throughout this difficult time to tell us that our presence within the peloton is one that may be sorely missed.

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