French fashion house saves Bigla-Katusha

With new four-year deal, team will pursue WorldTour license in 2021.

Photo: Getty Images

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Good news for the women’s peloton: a French fashion house will step in as new title sponsor at Bigla-Katusha through the 2024 season.

Team management confirmed Tuesday that Paule Ka, a pret-a-porter global fashion brand, will step in effective July 1. The team was on the ropes in the wake of the fallout from the coronavirus pandemic as team backers struggled to meet financial obligations, forcing a round of budget reductions and throwing the team’s future into doubt.

“This will be the first time that a fashion house will enter into women’s cycling, and as such, this is a ground-breaking event,” said team CEO Priska Doppmann Campana. “It will provide our sport with a platform to showcase the beauty of cycling in a unique and modern way. Overall, this is a good day not just for our team, but also for women’s cycling in general, and we are pleased that this venture will open up several new opportunities for our sport.”

The team also confirmed it will pursue a women’s WorldTour license for 2021, and that the new sponsor will use the team to promote a new line targeting a younger audience for next year.

“With this partnership, the team will also be opening a new chapter,” Doppmann Campana said. “We are seeking a WorldTour license, and will be developing a masterclass project, in which we will be able to keep furthering the potential of the athletes that have gone through our development program.”

The team currently boasts 13 riders on its roster, including American Leah Thomas. The team opened the short-circuited 2020 racing season with three wins, including two stages at the Setmana Valenciana in Spain.


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