Posted by Editor on 08/5/21
After stepping up to title co-sponsor status with the Astana - Premier Tech WorldTour team for 2021, the managing director of the team abruptly announced today that Canadian company Premier Tech has dropped out completely as a sponsor and co-owner of the team. In a press release, both parties stated that "we do not share the same vision".
This year, the team has been embroiled in a power struggle that saw former sport director Aleksandr Vinokourov fired, and Canadian Steve Bauer promoted to Sports team Principal. Vinokourov vowed to fight back. There is no confirmation that this is the reason for Premier Tech leaving the team.
The full statement:
Canadian company Premier Tech will leave Astana - Premier Tech at the conclusion of the 2021 season, stepping away as the team's co-owner and co-title sponsor after a five-year partnership. The Kazakh shareholders will continue as the sole owner and title sponsor of the team.
Acknowledging the significant investment and contribution from Premier Tech as a partner and more recently, co-owner, over the past five years, Astana - Premier Tech Managing Director Yana Seel said:
"We have been very fortunate to have Premier Tech with us since the beginning of the partnership in 2017. Premier Tech's support has been instrumental, and we were proud to have them with us for some of the team's most important moments including multiple Tour de France stage wins and Monument victories. Although we envisaged a long-term collaboration between Premier Tech and our Kazakh shareholders as co-owners, unfortunately it has not been possible to align the respective visions for the team's future. As such, Premier Tech will conclude their investment at the end of this season. I want to thank Jean Belanger and the Premier Tech community for their support and passion for the team, particularly for their unwavering commitment in the last two seasons amidst the covid-19 pandemic. We look forward to ending the season together on a high and achieving the best results possible".
"Planning is underway for next season, and we expect to communicate further on the team's future in the coming weeks."
Premier Tech President and CEO Jean Belanger said:
"Although it is disappointing for Premier Tech to end its collaboration with Kazakhstan, it has been fantastic to be involved in the project since 2017. We were excited to step up as co-owner and co-title sponsor of Astana - Premier Tech at the start of the season and forge a new direction for the team alongside the Kazakh shareholders. Unfortunately, it has become clear in our ongoing discussions and planning for the future that we do not share the same vision and we have been unable to come to an agreement that works for both parties. Premier Tech is committed to the sport of cycling and will announce in the near future the next phase of its presence in the peloton and WorldTour scene".
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