Cautious optimism for Drops’s future
With the UCI’S deadline for team registration now passed, at the time of going to press British women’s team Drops was yet to resolve the funding problems that threatened its existence. However, with negotiations ongoing, team manager Bob Varney remained optimistic that the squad would continue in 2019.
“It is highly likely the team will continue in some form or other,” Varney said. “We have ongoing dialogues that we would describe as meaningful. One is a UK company that reached out when they saw our predicament on social media and the other is a non-uk company that wants to increase their profile in Western Europe.”
Drops lost Trek as a title sponsor in May and Varney has been in a race to find new funding since a new backer withdrew at the beginning of November. On hearing that news they launched a crowdfunding campaign that has raised their profile as well as some cash.
A decision from both prospective partners is expected this week, but even that would be too late for the UCI registration deadline, which was Monday. That could endanger the team’s chances of a sustained European calendar. But Varney’s enthusiasm was not dampened. “We are being supported at the highest level, British Cycling and the UCI have been absolutely first class with their support,” he said.
Further cause for optimism comes from the number of riders happy to wait and see how the situation pans out. “All of the girls were given the option to sign elsewhere and they were fully aware of everything that is going on,” Varney explained.
“Some have signed for other teams with our full blessing. However, we do have others who are remaining committed to the team with the hope of a positive outcome. We are cautious because we’ve had disappointment in the past, but we’re keeping our fingers crossed.”