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Bernaudeau worried about the future of Team Europcar

Stephen Farrand
April 10, 2013, 11:48,
April 10, 2013, 12:48
Second Edition Cycling News, Wednesday, April 10, 2013
Team Europcar's general manager Jean-René Bernaudeau at a pre-Tour de France press conference in Liege, Belgium

Team Europcar's general manager Jean-René Bernaudeau at a pre-Tour de France press conference in Liege, Belgium

  • Team Europcar's general manager Jean-René Bernaudeau at a pre-Tour de France press conference in Liege, Belgium
  • The whole Team Europcar roster
  • Thomas Voeckler (Europcar)
  • Bryan Coquard (Europcar).

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Team manager looking for a co-sponsor for 2014

Team Europcar manager Jean-Rene Bernaudeau has confirmed that he is working to find a co-sponsor, so that he can compete against the major WorldTour teams that operate on twice his budget.

In October 2010 Bernaudeau managed to save his Vendee-based team from extinction when Europcar came in at the last minute and he persuaded Thomas Voeckler to stay onboard. Europcar seem keen to back the team beyond 2013 but to similar problems, Bernaudeau has told L'Equipe that he wants to secure the extra funding before the start of the Tour de France on July 7.

"Will Europcar carry on their activity? In what way? I don’t know anything at the moment," he told L'Equipe, provocatively trying to push the car rental company to make a final decision.

Knowing he will always have a place in the Tour de France, Bernaudeau is not interested in being part of the WorldTour nor does he want to revolutionise his rider roster. He wants the extra funding to help develop riders like talent young sprinter Bryan Coquard, Tour de France contender Pierre Rolland and cobbled Classics rider Damien Gaudin, who finished on Sunday at Paris-Roubaix.

"I need a bigger budget, not to be part of the WorldTour but to pay my riders what they deserve after their success. I want to give a rider like Gaudin the technical support he needs such as a mental coach. I've never played at raising my price. All the riders want to stay, even Thomas [Voeckler], who is underpaid in relationship to what he can win. Thomas is one of the ten most admired French athletes but cycling's image is a mess even if the return is still exceptional or a sponsor. A stage at the Tour de France in terms of audience is twice as big at the final of the Roland Garos [the French Open tennis championship]. There's nothing like that."

Bernaudeau is looking for a co-sponsor to boost his budget from the current seven million Euro to at least nine.

"Europcar has been affected by the crisis. It's difficult for them to increase their budget, so we're looking for a co-sponsor. Europcar covers sixty percent of my budget. But I need to grow the team, to secure it’s long term future for the next five years," he said.

"BMC has a budget of 20 million, while we have seven. We have the ideas but we don’t have the funding. It's obvious that the boss of Sky could make him [Gaudin] win Paris-Roubaix before I can. We've got the competence but not the rest. It costs 200,000 to take 10 riders to the wind tunnel. It's necessary. But it's costly."

orbeas More than 1 year ago
jean rene, if I ever win the euro lottery, you will be the first one I send a cheque too !!!!
bjohal More than 1 year ago
They deserve more than what they are getting. They have a positive attitude towards cycling races, which is lacking in some world tour teams.
FabiquesAnquetillara More than 1 year ago
It is obvious to everyone but UCI that current economic model of pro-cycling is rubbish and does not work for anyone (maybe for UCI in the short run). More and more team will struggle without TV right sharing. No sponsors last long. Names changing all the time. There are no big global economic players that are heavily involved in other sports in cycling. Cycling sponsors (if they are not directly from cycling industry) are really not big companies. And meanwhile cycling is widely watched sport, TdF has 2nd biggest audience after Olympics out of all sport events. In spite of that, team are financially weak and unstable to say at least. (like last year when Euskatel was selling team buses to be able pay wages - show me similar analogy from pro-football - of course there wont be any, because UEFA has its business model put right. Unlike UCI) And Pat McQuaid is saying cycling is in top shape, future is bright and so on. Sick illusions.
lastplacerider More than 1 year ago
So when do a sufficient number of teams break away from the UCI to form their own league? Are there sufficient teams with sufficient monetary strength to be able to withstand a bold venture such as a "breakaway" from UCI? Team sponsors seem to come and go all too often to give stability to a new league. Agree...a stable source of revenue is needed, such as TV revenue sharing + sponsor money. Are their other large sources of money to support the teams?
Raoul Duke More than 1 year ago
I paid 75 Euro for a MotoGp pass that allows me to watch the entire season live or watch news and archived racing back to the late 1990's. On demand streaming video, 720p where possible, 24/7, I am not suggesting this is the proper model for cycling, but it show that there are many ways the UCI could be working to promote cycling events and raise revenue, but that they seem to be failing totally. Is there any field in which they control in which they are an actual success? It appears the answer is no. I suggest that the best move cycling could make right now is to abandon or reform the UCI. I don't know what it is going to take, but it had better happen because it seems right now cycling is like water circling around the drain about to go down.