Coronavirus: CCC-Liv prepare to race again despite title sponsor cutbacks

Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio and Marianne Vos (CCC-Liv)
Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio and Marianne Vos (Image credit: Getty Images)

The CCC-Liv team has told Cyclingnews that they are continuing to prepare for a potential re-start of racing season despite news that the owner of the Polish footwear company CCC has been forced to cut costs as the business struggles due to the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.

The Polish website Rowery, reported last week that Dariusz Milek, head of CCC, was looking to cut spending as the company’s share prices dropped by 90 per cent compared to 2018, while revenues are down nine per cent year-on-year for the first quarter.

"Our main sponsor, CCC, has unfortunately been hit hard by the coronavirus. We understand that our followers and supporters wonder whether this has consequences for CCC-Liv. Anything we say at this stage, would be speculation which we want to avoid," the CCC-Liv team told Cyclingnews.

The company is also the main sponsor of the men’s WorldTour CCC Team, which announced that they have suspended the majority of their team support staff contracts and all rider salaries will be heavily reduced for the remainder of the 2020 season. 

Although CCC Team and CCC-Liv have the same title sponsor, they are not run under the same management and are separate entities.

Due to public health concerns surrounding the coronavirus, the UCI has suspended all racing until June 1. The Women’s WorldTour cancellations and postponements have included Tour of Chongming Island, Strade Bianche, Bevrijdingsronde van Drenthe, Trofeo Alfredo Binda, Driedaagse Brugge-De Panne, Gent-WevelgemTour of Flanders, the Ardennes Classics and the Women's Tour. The IOC has also postponed the Tokyo Olympic Games until July 2021. 

"The coronavirus affects everyone and also concerns CCC-Liv," the team told Cyclingnews. "How do we keep riders motivated now that there are no races in the foreseeable future? How do we monitor and promote the health of our riders and staff? What alternatives can we offer sponsors?"

Many nations are under some form of lockdown and athletes have moved training programmes indoors. Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio, who is currently living in Spain, has been using virtual training software to help stay in shape. She recently published a blog on her website proving six things she learned about about riding indoors.

"The men’s and women's team are run as separate entities, and for now the women’s team runs as normal as possible under the Covid-19 restrictions," she told Cyclingnews

"We are still training hard, doing our best to stay positive and we look forward to getting back to what we love most … racing our bikes … hopefully in the not to distant future."

The sport governing body is providing on its website continuous updates of event cancellations and postponements due to the novel coronavirus. At the same time it is working with race organisers to determine event date changes for later in the season.

"We wish all our sponsors, fans and other followers a lot of strength in these unreal, challenging times. Above all, we hope that everyone stays healthy. That is what matters most," the team told Cyclingnews.

"In the meantime, we are preparing as well as possible for the re-start of the competition. We would love to show our orange jersey again, of course only if this is responsible in relation to public health."

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Kirsten Frattini
Women's Editor

Kirsten Frattini is an honours graduate of Kinesiology and Health Science from York University in Toronto, Canada. She has been involved in cycling from the community and grassroots level to professional cycling's WorldTour. She has worked in both print and digital publishing, and started with Cyclingnews as a North American Correspondent in 2006. Moving into a Production Editor's role in 2014, she produces and publishes international race coverage for all men's and women's races including Spring Classics, Grand Tours, World Championships and Olympic Games, and writes and edits news and features. As the Women's Editor at Cyclingnews, Kirsten also coordinates and oversees the global coverage of races, news, features and podcasts about women's professional cycling.