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Vaughters: The team were within days of ending – Podcast

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Cannondale-Drapac looking after Rigoberto Uran during the stage

Cannondale-Drapac looking after Rigoberto Uran during the stage
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Cannondale-Garmin boss Jonathan Vaughters in early-2015

Cannondale-Garmin boss Jonathan Vaughters in early-2015 (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Rigoberto Uran and his Cannondale-Drapac teammates at the sign-on

Rigoberto Uran and his Cannondale-Drapac teammates at the sign-on (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Tour de France winner Chris Froome flanked by runner-up Rigoberto Urán and third-placed Romain Bardet

Tour de France winner Chris Froome flanked by runner-up Rigoberto Urán and third-placed Romain Bardet
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Taylor Phinney during the stage before he crashed out of the race

Taylor Phinney during the stage before he crashed out of the race (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)

At the end of August the Cannondale-Drapac team was plunged into difficulty when a major potential sponsor pulled away from negotiations. The American WorldTour team, run by Jonathan Vaughters, was left with a $7,000,000 shortfall for 2018 and quickly told their riders and staff that if a new sponsor could not be secured then the team would almost certainly fold.

With just a fortnight to save the team a crowd-funding operation was set up, and over $500,000 raised from fan donations. At the same time Vaughters embarked on a risky, and somewhat controversial gamble, signing star rider Rigoberto Uran to a three-year deal despite not having the long-term funds yet in place.

With just days to spare, a potential buy out on the table, and riders jumping ship, the Slipstream Sports operation was saved when Vaughters signed EF Education First as a title sponsor.

In this exclusive podcast interview, Vaughters talks candidly about the brinksmanship involved, the high-risk stakes and how the support from the Argyle fans spurred him on. He talks about the compromises he had to make, and what the future looks like for EF Education First - Drapac powered by Cannondale.