Doug Ellis has told Cyclingnews that Slipstream Sports, the owner of the Garmin-Sharp team, hopes to announce its new sponsorship package in August, with the team set to change title sponsors for 2015.
Ellis would not comment on the speculation that the team would merge with a segment of the current Cannondale team with the American bike brand rumoured to become the team's title sponsor. However it is known that Sharp will cease sponsorship at the end of the year although Garmin will have a financial investment within the team.
"All I can really say is that we have a program for next year and that we're really excited about it," Ellis told Cyclingnews. "There's going to be some change and some change on the sponsorship side but it's all good."
The team will remain at UCI WorldTour level and recently announced that Andrew Talansky has tied his future to the team. However Ellis refused to be drawn on the issue of sponsorship.
"I can't really talk about that because we have so many different moving pieces at this time of the year. I just can’t talk about what our sponsorship set up will be for next year. We hope to have complete information in August."
Cervelo's contract with the team runs out at the end of this year with the Canadian manufacturer linking up with the MTN team for 2015. Cervelo joined up with Garmin via a merger of sorts at the end of 2010 with a handful of the Cervelo TestTeam riders moving over to create the Garmin-Cervelo team. A relationship with Cannondale may well create a similar proposition with several riders from the current Canndondale team expected to be part of the move.
Last month OlegTinkov suggested on Twitter that Garmin may have reached a deal with Cannondale. He wrote: "@Vaughters good deal with @cannondalePro. I am very much support it! #changecycling"
That post was soon deleted.
"At this time of year there are always rumours about this or that team going," Ellis added.
At the start of the Tour de France Jonathan Vaughters told Cyclingnews that "Garmin has a contract with the team next year but not as a title sponsor. The team name will definitively change next year, yes."
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