Due to severe budget cuts, the future of women’s Garmin-Cervélo team is uncertain.
Team manager Egon van Kessel has already been let go and been encouraged to seek out a new team.
The stars of the 2011 women’s team included world time trial champion Emma Pooley, Italian champion Noemi Cantele and British champion Lizzie Amistead, all of whom would be left without a team.
None of the women’s team was present at the the Garmin-Cervélo team presentation that Velonews.com attended.
Team manager Johnathan Vaughters commented on Twitter, “I never said women are being cut. I said the budget is being cut. They will be paid. The race program is what is in jeopardy.”
The team has already reacted to budget cuts by reducing the women’s team from 14 to 10.
The French sponsor BigMat was expected to support Garmin-Cervélo, but in the end supported the FDJ team.
Several of the male contracts were signed counting on the support from BigMat.
Vaughters claims it is obvious where to place the blame for the lack of funds. He tweeted, “yes, we are having to cut the women’s team budget, unless we find a sponsor for them. With loss of BigMat, we cannot use $ from men’s team. So, if you want to be upset, go ask FDJ-BigMat, why they aren’t running a women’s team at all?”