Jim Ochowicz’s search for a new title sponsor to support his WorldTour CCC Team have reportedly led him to negotiations with Rally Health. The American health service tool, owned by UnitedHealth Group, currently sponsors Rally Cycling’s Professional Continental men’s and Continental women’s outfits, and the team said they are not aware of any ties between Ochowicz and their programme.
"This is news to us! If we were going WorldTour we'd tell you," a representative of the team told Cyclingnews when asked if there was any truth to the recent reports that Rally Health was interested in replacing CCC as the main financial backer of Ochowicz's team.
Ochowicz confirmed last week that his Continuum Sports management company was searching for a new title sponsor after CCC decided to end their association with the men’s WorldTour team at the end of 2020. The Polish footwear company had been looking to cut spending as the company’s share prices dropped by 90 per cent compared to 2018. Revenues are lost due to the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The company also sponsors the Women’s WorldTeam CCC-Liv, however, the two teams are separate entities and the women’s team confirmed to Cyclingnews that all its sponsors fulfilled their obligations to date.
Gazetta dello Sport reported on Friday that Ochowicz was in discussions with Rally Health to take over title sponsorship of his team with Het Nieuwsblad adding that the negotiations are rumoured to amount to €20 million.
UnitedHealth Group has its headquarters in Minnesota and it encompasses health services such as UnitedHealthcare, Optum and Rally Health, all of which have been title sponsors of teams in professional cycling over the years.
UnitedHealthcare was the title sponsor of UHC Pro Cycling for nine seasons before ending that contract in 2018.
Rally Health is a tool that UnitedHealthcare offers to its clients in the form of a website and mobile app that provides health and well-being information and support as part of their health plans.
Rally is the current title sponsor of Rally Cycling, managed by Circuit Sports, which is also based in Minnesota. Rally took over the title sponsorship of Optum Pro Cycling in 2016 and offered a multi-year deal to the team.
The team runs a UCI women’s team and upgraded its men’s team to a Professional Continental licence in 2018 with and expressed interest in continuing to grow toward the WorldTour. It has developed riders such as Brandon McNulty, who now races for UAE Team Emirates and Sepp Kuss, who is now at Jumbo-Visma.
Kirsten Frattini is an honours graduate of Kinesiology and Health Science from York University in Toronto, Canada. She has been involved in bike racing from the 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 cycling disciplines, edits news and writes features. Currently the Women's Editor at Cyclingnews, Kirsten coordinates global coverage of races, news, features and podcasts about women's professional cycling.
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