Former politicians frequently take up causes following the conclusion of their political careers be it through work with NGO’s, non-profits, positions in the corporate world and charities. Former secretary of state and democratic nominee for president of the United States John Kerry has taken up the cause of trying to save UCI WorldTour team Cannondale-Drapac according to The Hill.
News that the Splitstream Sports program lead by Jonathan Vaughter’s was on the verge of collapse following the withdrawal of a vital sponsor for 2018 emerged during the first week of the Vuelta a España. Despite the team finishing second overall at the 2017 Tour de France thanks to the ride of Rigoberto Uran, the team that has been operating on a modest budget was in trouble if they could not find new baking.
Kerry has been working the phones, using his network to reach out to acquaintances and friends to help try and find a new backer for the team. As an avid cyclist and a big fan of the sport, Kerry has made appearances at numerous high profile races including this year’s Tour.
“John is a longtime friend and supporter of cycling. He’s been especially supportive during this trying time,” team owner Jonathan Vaughters told The Hill. “He’s done his best to reach out to various people and corporations that could help us survive this situation.”
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Cannondale-Drapac had a special visitor at #TDF2017 this morning. Statesman John Kerry stopped by the #GreenArgyle bus and is now riding with sport director Charly Wegelius in our team car behind the race. At the bus, he said: "We are doing a citizen’s movement in America where our states and businesses and our cities [work] to fulfill our obligation to the Paris Agreement no matter what. People need to know that Americans are going to move up their responsibility even if the President is walking away from it." … For more info on how Cannondale-Drapac is taking up its responsibility in relation to the Paris Accord, please visit: https://lessthan2.degree/ (clickable link in our bio)
According to Vaughters, Cannondale-Drapac need to fill a deficit of seven million dollar following the withdrawal of the sponsor or else he’d need to turn of the lights of the team he has been running at the WorldTour level since 2009. Kerry hopes he can help.
The two men know each other since 2008 when they met at the Democratic National Convention in Denver. Vaughters invited Kerry out for a ride with the team in Boulder. Since Kerry has made visits with the team, most recently at the Tour de France.
During his political career, Kerry went for rides to relieve stress . In 2015, he was riding in France during negotiations in Geneva over the Iran nucleur program and broke a bone in his right leg. Many photos of Kerry riding show him wearing a Slipstream Sports team jersey.
Cannondale-Drapac have also launched a crowd funding campaign #SaveArgyle and have raised US$476,997 as of Monday morning. Insurance broker Fairly Group has said they will match up to two million dollars of the contributions.
Canadian Michael Woods is currently leading the team at the Vuelta and currently sits eighth overall.