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Wildlife Generation Pro Cycling team boss Danny Van Haute has told VeloNews that he is not confident of finding a new title sponsor for next season after he confirmed that Wildlife Generation had decided to end its relationship with the organization at the end of 2022.
The news means that the North American scene will be down another team for next season and that Van Haute, who ran the highly successful Jelly Belly team before Wildlife Generation came on board, is unlikely to have a Continental team going forward.
He has notified all of his current riders, along with those who were in discussions over possible contracts for 2023. Eight of the current 10-man roster have already signed for the newly formed National Cycling League (NCL), which was announced earlier this year.
“I’m still looking for a sponsor but Wildlife is no longer with us. At this moment, as you know, it’s hard to get sponsorship for that Continental level. We’re still working on it but I don’t think that it’s going to happen. I’m working on other projects that might help the team go on, like any other manager would, but let’s just say that it’s hard to do,” Van Haute told VeloNews.
Van Haute has several potential options in the pipeline with a gravel team, a U25 road squad, or a women’s entity all under discussion.
“My heart is in road racing, not criteriums. I love criteriums, and I raced them myself, but that’s not my thing and I want to continue with the road and stages race. There’s just not that many big events in North America, so for the last couple of years we’ve been in Europe,” he said. “Maybe that’s why I can’t get any North American sponsorships. I do think that it’s coming back though. We’ve got the new NCL and I know that’s criteriums but maybe that’s what we need. I hope that’s successful. I think something will happen, whether it’s a gravel, cyclocross, or women’s team.
“We want to be a road team again, focused on development, and for riders under 25. There is an opportunity for a gravel team but that’s just in the talking phase. I’m looking at all options right now. I’ve been in the sport all my life, and I love it. I want riders to develop and have a home. The bottom line is that I want to give riders chances to graduate to another level.”