The supervisor of the Bolton Equities Black Spoke group confirmed at the moment that the group has been compelled to disband after failing to safe sponsors for the 2024 season.
“All good issues should ultimately finish, and regrettably, Black Spoke isn’t any exception. I’m saddened to announce that now we have been unable to safe the sponsors required for the 2024 season, and Black Spoke will conclude on the finish of this 12 months,” common supervisor Scott Guyton wrote in an announcement.
The group largely consisted of riders from New Zealand, racing domestically at first in New Zealand by way of 2020, whereas the nation’s borders had been closed by way of the COVID-19 pandemic, then progressing onto the world stage. Initially Bolton Equities Black Spoke was a Continental group and after ending 2022 in twenty fourth spot on the UCI group rankings, the best positioned Continental squad, it stepped as much as turn out to be New Zealand’s first UCI ProTeam in 2023.
The group delivered its 20 riders a full season of racing in Europe and Asia. Wins included the Tour of Taihu Lake, stage 3 of the Tour of Langkawi plus stage 1 of Tour of Hainan with George Jackson, the NZ Cycle Traditional with James Oram, together with the Oceania time trial title taken by Tom Sexton and James Fouché’s Grand Prix Cerami win in addition to Rory Townsend’s victory at La Roue Tourangelle.
Of the riders on the group this season, 4 have introduced contracts for 2024, with New Zealand riders Aaron Gate and Jackson heading to Burgos-BH, Britain’s Mark Stewart goes to Corratec and Eire’s Rory Townsend to Q36.5. Belgian trainee Victor Vercouillie can also be heading to Group Flanders-Baloise.
The group had already flagged in September that it might not race as a ProTeam in 2024. At the moment mentioned it was working towards returning to the Continental division because it offered a extra sustainable pathway, however with Bolton Equities shifting to a non-title sponsor it wanted further sponsors to proceed.
“We contemplate ourselves lucky to have had the chance to guide all these concerned on this exceptional group. It is a bittersweet ending, as we have established one thing actually vital and distinctive. Black Spoke has undeniably made a mark on New Zealand’s biking historical past.
“The final 4 years wouldn’t have been doable with out the monetary backing and fervour from Murray and Talei Bolton,” Guyton wrote, calling the sponsors “among the many most beneficiant and motivated individuals I’ve ever met. Your unwavering dedication to Black Spoke has not solely formed careers however has additionally left a long-lasting impression on the biking panorama in New Zealand. Your imaginative and prescient for Black Spoke has offered invaluable alternatives for Kiwi cyclists to shine on the worldwide stage.
“Whereas this marks the conclusion of Black Spoke, my hope is the legacy it leaves behind will proceed to encourage and inspire the biking neighborhood in New Zealand and past. The impression it has had on the game and the alternatives it has offered for Kiwi cyclists to shine on the worldwide stage are a testomony to the imaginative and prescient and dedication of everybody concerned.”