Yesterday I wrote that there’s limited potential for growth when putting two teams together, but that doesn’t mean people left out of a merger necessarily lose their job. Look at it this way; the introduction of Leopard did not directly add 80 people to the pro cycling family, its demise wouldn’t make 80 leave. People flow from one opportunity to another within the sport. That is of course, if the number of newcomers matches the number of teams disappearing.
Just like some people went from Credit Agricole or Gerolsteiner to Cervelo TestTeam and some went from Cervelo TestTeam to Leopard or Garmin-Cervelo, Leopard and Radioshack riders and staff could in principle make their way to new projects like GreenEdge. There are also some teams bulking up on the number of riders and staff (Skil-Shimano probably). The problem is of course timing and competition; it’s very late in the season and there is lots of competition with staff and riders from outfits such as Highroad also looking for new employ.
This may or may not be a concern for the people at the controls, but regardless this will become a nerve-wrecking experiment. Both Highroad and CTT showed that if you announce the end of the team in August, you can still find new work for (virtually) all riders and staff. Whether that’s still the case in September, I don’t know.
However, it should be pointed out that the uncertainty for riders and staff is not so much a financial concern as it is an “I’ll be bored” problem. You see, staff and riders at the merging teams either have a contract for next year or they don’t. If they don’t, then it would have been prudent for them to start looking for other opportunities long ago. If they do, then that contract remains valid whether the team continues or not. If they can find a new team, they can demand to be let out of their old contract. If they don’t find a new team, they can demand the old contract be paid out. There are all sorts of nuances to this, but that’s the gist of it.