Last Friday, B&B Hotels-KTM Team Manager Jerome Pinault announced to all riders that they were now free of any contract. And if some quickly find a new formation, then for others the task will be difficult.
While B&B Hôtels-KTM has been preparing for a real revolution in view of the upcoming season, the situation in the end is very different. The team didn’t manage to complete the budget needed to leave with riders who were already under contract with Men in Glaz last season. And as Morbihan’s coaching adventure draws to a close, Jerome Pinault decides to release 24 riders who must now rush to find a new team. If Viktor Koretzky had already partnered with Bora-Hansgrohe, the task would be more complicated for some of his former partners.
Bonamour, Lawrence and Mazzato must bounce back
Currently, only three racers are said to be on the other teams’ shelves. Sprinter Luca Mozzato could join Breton’s second squad in the peloton, Team Arkéa-Samsic. Trek-Segafredo could also have begun moves to secure the services of the 24-year-old Italian. For his part, Frank Bonamour has expressed interest in joining Total Energies.
And even if sporting director Benoît Genaozzo has so far denied any contact with the Costa Ricans, the issue should accelerate in the coming days. Finally, Axl Lawrence would be courted by many of the big cars playing the World Tour. The French cycling prodigy will interest Ineos Grenadiers and Soudal Quick-Step in particular.
The situation is worrying for the rest of the B&B Hotels-KTM team
For about twenty riders, the next season will be even more bleak since the majority of teams have already closed their lineups. Some courses simply do not have space for an extra cyclist, while others do not have the necessary budget margin. And there are more contenders for the contract, led by Nairo Quintana, Sébastien Reichenbach and even Mark Cavendish, who was supposed to sign with B&B Hôtels-KTM.
Big names in cycling like Pierre Rolland (36) and Cyril Gauthier (35) may have to end their careers hastily. What about the players who were supposed to go into Breton training or the female employees who now find themselves out of work? The end of B&B Hôtels-KTM will certainly be a tragedy for a large number of people.