Orica To Cease WorldTour Sponsorship; Team Owner Gerry Ryan's Company To Step In
With Orica ending its six-year tenure as a WorldTour sponsor, GreenEdge cycling announced its women's and men's teams will become Mitchelton-Scott in '18, according to Joe Robinson of CYCLIST. Team owner and financial backer Gerry Ryan announced the team "would be looking for a new primary sponsor to replace Orica after it announced it would be leaving the sport." However, after "failing to find an external sponsor," Ryan's company, Mitchelton, which is run by his son Andrew, "made the step up to primary-naming sponsor." The move will see the Ryan family "not only controlling GreenEdge cycling but also being the primary financial investor," alongside bike manufacturer Scott. A "clear change of pace will be brought" by Michelton, a winery, restaurant and hotel group based in Australia. Its focus on luxury is a "far cry" from former sponsor Orica, "one of the world's largest producers of commercial explosives for mining and quarrying." Mitchelton and Scott's sponsorship "will span across the entirety" of the GreenEdge setup, "providing their names and finances to both the men's and women's road teams, as well as their MTB and triathlon athletes" (CYCLIST, 12/11). CYCLING NEWS reported Ryan "previously suggested that he and his companies would cover any budget shortfall" for the teams in '18 and '19. The business has recently looked to "diversify beyond the winery, branching out into hospitality, and it sees cycling as a platform to boost growth beyond Australian borders." The length of the sponsorship deal was not disclosed (CYCLING NEWS, 12/11).