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Team looking for solution to loss of BigMat sponsorship
Slipstream Sports is faced with potentially closing their women's team, or making financial cuts, due to the sponsorship fallout from losing BigMat sponsorship funds.
BigMat was lined up to co-sponsor the America team's operations for multiple years but pulled out and aligned with FDJ. The matter is currently going through legal motions but the lack of funds means that Jonathan Vaughters could be forced to make financial cuts.
"We spent 14 months aggressively searching for an independent sponsor for the women's team but we were unsuccessful in that mission. So, when we entered into a binding letter of intent with a potential sponsor, we made the decision to fund the women's team out of the WorldTour team. That potential sponsor withdrew from the deal. As a result, we are being forced to evaluate our women's program.
"We are hopeful to find another solution and are back aggressively looking for a sponsor, but if we are unable to secure one, we will have to continue to make budget cuts. We are committed to doing everything we can for our athletes and staff during this time and they remain our priority."
Vaughters would not comment on the exact money it takes to run a women's team but he told Cyclingnews that he would carry on the search. The American team has had to cut funds from the men's team.
"At this point we're having to consider budget cuts," he told Cyclingnews. "This 50 percent rumour has not been determined. At the end of the day it's our intention to make sure that the value on their contracts is honoured and we need to find a solution to keep the team on the road."
Vaughters also said that he would not stand in the way of any members of the women's team moving to another squad and that he would cover any financial discrepancy in contracts.
"If one of them wanted to go to another team I would never prevent that from happening."