PureBlack Racing announced today it is increasingly likely it will be unable to pursue plans to race internationally in 2012 due to the lack of sponsorship funding available.
“Tough economic conditions combined with the impact of the Rugby World Cup and the Christchurch disaster have made it a really tough year to raise funding for emerging sports like cycling and international programmes like PureBlack Racing,” said Greg Cross, Business Director of PureBlack Racing.
“We have proven we have the talent, management and technical expertise. What we don’t have at the moment is the financial support. This weekend we have had to tell our team that we don't have the funding in place to commit to our planned next step in 2012 at this stage and ultimately this could mean our most exciting road cycling talent will continue to be lost offshore.”
In its first year on the international stage PureBlack Racing has proven it could compete and win on the USA Pro Circuit with its team of talented young Kiwis achieving its first major milestone towards its vision of racing in the Tour de France in 2015.
“During the course of the year PureBlack Racing demonstrated what the team is capable of winning major races, stages, tours and jerseys against experienced and established Pro cycling teams and now a growing number of hard earned invitations to major international events may not be taken up in 2012. This will be a huge disappointment to the team, its sponsors and its many friends and supporters,” said Greg Cross.
“Supporting outstanding young New Zealand talent is critical to the future of this country. In a global sport like cycling where we punch way above our weight we need to be retaining and developing our own riders and utilising them to promote the great qualities of New Zealand and our companies and brands on the international stage,” he said.
This year the team’s foundation sponsors along with its individual shareholders funded the team’s programme and built a growing community of fans on the international stage. PureBlack Racing was one of the most popular teams in America with its distinctive branding, black New Zealand uniform and its aggressive winning style.
Avanti’s founder and Managing Director John Struthers said, “While our level of support has been at a far higher level than originally anticipated, as we helped to bridge the funding gaps until more sponsor partners came onboard, it’s still been a fantastic experience for Avanti Bicycles to be part of the PureBlack Racing journey. Greg Cross, Carl Williams and the team have done an amazing job representing us on the world cycling stage.”
“The team has earned and deserves all of our support and it’s upsetting to see such talent and results not translate to broader commercial support. We can reflect on all the team has achieved so far with enormous pride.”