UCI Women's Team Lensworld-Kuota is set to fold after losing a title sponsor. According to a team press release, Lensworld was recently taken over by LensOnline, which decided not to continue the arrangement. Contracts with riders had already been signed for the coming season.
"Without Lensworld, it's not possible to work further in a professional way," said team manager Heidi Van De Vijver via the release. "Even though there is still hope for a solution, the short time is the main obstacle to find a new main sponsor and I can not ask the riders to wait until the very last moment."
The Belgian-based squad, founded in 2013, had counted on Lensworld as a title sponsor since 2015. Italians Tatiana Guderzo and Maria Giulia Confalonieri delivered the squad's most notable results this season. Guderzo recently claimed the women's Giro dell'Emilia.
"Belgium is big in cycling organizations and there are also many men's and women's teams at various levels, but in this small country it is not obvious to find a main sponsor so fast," Van De Vijver said. "By 2019 yes, but most companies had already spent their advertising budget for the coming year. This year we ended up with the smallest budget as the best Belgian team, we were able to compete at the highest level and after all these years we became a highly appreciated team. We already had a beautiful race team for 2018, so this is incredibly bad for all those involved.
"Obviously, I'm very grateful to Lensworld that we have been able to count on them for the past five years and that we have come such a long way with all the other partners. It's the timing that was unfortunate."