Cannondale-Drapac riders freed from contracts for 2018
American WorldTour team Cannondale-Drapac have released all of their staff - including Tour de France runner-up Rigoberto Uran - from their contractual obligations for 2018, citing financial uncertainty.
Slipstream Sports, Cannondale-Drapac's parent company, released a statement on Saturday, confirming "discouraging news" about a potential new investment.
The organisation insists it is committed to keeping the team alive beyond 2017 if it can find additional backers. Yet the likes of Uran, Pierre Rolland and Andrew Talansky are currently free to pursue new opportunities.
A statement read: "On Saturday morning, Slipstream Sports notified all riders and staff of the uncertainty of our organisation's future. Yesterday, management received some discouraging news about a new partner we anticipated joining us in 2018. Without this partner's support, we cannot guarantee our financial security and subsequently our UCI WorldTour license for 2017.
"We remain hopeful that this situation may resolve itself in the next few days and that the team may find new financial backing; however, without this guarantee, we felt an obligation to the individuals who make up our team to notify them of our current situation and give them time to look for their best options.
"All Slipstream Sports staff have been released from any and all contractual obligations for 2018. All 2018 contracts will be honoured if our future is secured.
"We want to be clear. All of our current sponsors and partners [Cannondale, Drapac, Oath, POC] have remained committed to support our team in 2018. These sponsors have lived up to their promises; however, without additional financial backing, the numbers simply don't add up.
"We remain steadfastly invested in keeping this team alive. We believe in our team ethos, and we believe in the dedicated, passionate, hard-working and talented group we have assembled.
"We have several opportunities that we are exploring, and while we remain hopeful, we are not comfortable exposing our staff and riders to the uncertainties of our future - which prompted the team-wide email this morning."