"The Tour de France is almost 50% of the whole year's value" - Factor Bikes CEO laments Israel-Premier Tech's likely relegation

Factor Bikes are the supplier of at-risk Israel - Premier Tech's bikes. The company's CEO, Rob Gitelis has recently given an interview to Cyclingnews, sharing the viewpoint of the suppliers and sponsors of the UCI World Rankings and relegation. "How do you justify no Tour de France to shareholders?"

3 teams will be relegated, with the top 2 of those 3 having the relief of being invited to World Tour events. Or as Gitelis puts it "We look at it as 'okay, you're not in the WorldTour, but you've gotten one of those two spots, which means you can ride all over the world for races'. To me, that's business as usual,"

The team who finishes the season in that 3rd relegation spot however would not be guaranteed a spot at massive races such as the Tour de France. Gitelis believes this could be disastrous, "However, if you get relegated and you're in that third spot, which is the one where you get all the one-day WorldTour invites, but you're not invited to the Grand Tours, then all bets are off because the value of the sponsorship then changes quite a bit."

With time running out and the battle heating up, Lotto Soudal, Israel - Premier Tech and TotalEnergies sit in the relegation zone. The very future of whichever side finishes in that 3rd spot could be in doubt according to Rob Gitelis "If you are not at the Tour de France, even if you're racing one-day races and things like that, ROI (return on investment) is just so much different. So you couldn't justify to your shareholders. Why are you paying WorldTour money and not being in the WorldTour? It's as simple as that."

Understandably, Gitelis was unwilling to divulge the negotiations between his Factor Bikes and Israel - Premier Tech, it is known however that most, if not all sponsorship deals do include a clause which would allow the sponsor to pull out in the event of relegation from the WorldTour.

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