Richie Porte gives BMC until May to save team

Richie Porte has confirmed to Cyclingnews that he has given BMC Racing until May 1 to find a new sponsor, at which point he will be free to find another team for 2019. As he prepares to make his European debut at the Volta ao Algarve, the Australian disclosed that he has a clause within his contract that allows him to speak to rival teams at that point, although he is still hopeful that BMC will continue beyond the current year, calling it the 'best case scenario’.  BMC have no sponsorship agreements in place for 2019, and their entire rider roster and staff are without contracts for next season. The future of the team rests on a new sponsor being found or one of the main existing titles of BMC, Tag Heuer or Sophos stepping up and providing the needed financial support. At this point, BMC owner Andy Rihs has not decided to guarantee his continued support. Under UCI regulations riders may not officially sign contracts with a new team until August 1.ADVERTISEMENT “My line in the sand is the end of May,” Porte told Cyclingnews in an exclusive podcast interview set to be released later this week. “That’s when you need to know. Who is to say that maybe Geraint Thomas goes to Trek because there goes a potentially great team, if BMC was to fold, that you would have loved to have ridden for. The market is pretty hot and we’ll see who is in and out of contract. A best-case scenario is that Jim Ochowicz finds another sponsor and the team keeps going.” Porte confirmed that he can begin looking for another team in the coming months, although when asked about the timing for the second time he said, “It’s in my contract. There is a cut-off point at the start of May.” Back to Europe and a different race programme
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