The Tour de France is a traditional time for informal transfer and contract discussions, and Vacansoleil-DCM riders may take special advantage of that this year. The Dutch WorldTour team is looking for a new sponsor for 2014, and if it does not find one, team management does not want its riders to be left out in the cold.
“It is up to management to find a sponsor and it is up to the riders to find a job,” team business manager Frank Kwanten told Cyclingnews. “We don't want to say at the end of September that 'we have a problem....'”.
The managers “will do their homework,” he said, and there are still possibilities that the team will continue under new sponsorship.
However, the riders' welfare is important. “They may talk to other teams, but must also remember the August 1 deadline,” Kwanten said. They should be free to have talks as “something might come up during the Tour de France, and we want to be sure they can use their option if something comes up.”
But, he concluded, “we ask them to do nothing until the end of the Tour de France or the first of August, and then we will see.”
The UCI's transfer period starts August 1, and riders and teams may not sign contracts before that date.