Still no word on a title sponsor for next year... will Team Europcar cease to exist in 2016?
General manager Jean-René Bernaudeau, who has been with the team since the beginning when it was known as Bonjour, going through various iterations including Brioches La Boulangère and Bouygues Télécom before the hire-car company stepped in prior to the 2011 season, has until this Saturday, August 15, to find a replacement sponsor, prepared to cough up around 10 million Euros.
"a service course in a stone-walled barn and country manor house rather than the usual warehouse unit in an industrial park"
Their marquee riders, namely Thomas Voeckler, Bryan Coquard and Pierre Rolland, said they'd stick by Bernaudeau till this date. After that they'll have to take what they can get, which, relative to the lofty standards set by BMC Racing, Team Sky, Tinkoff-Saxo and Katusha, probably isn't much.
The Inner Ring writes that Europcar is stuck in a bit of a time warp - "the team never seemed too clued up on the public relations front and is still improving on social media"; with riders building towards Grand Tours measuring their efforts in kilometres ridden and little else, and a service course "in a stone-walled barn and country manor house rather than the usual warehouse unit in an industrial park."
Their last WorldTour victory? The 2013 Critérium du Dauphiné, where Voeckler and David Veilleux won a stage apiece, the latter retiring that year, at the ripe old age of 25.
Just in case you needed a(nother) example of how the business of cycling is broken...