The Cycling News Podcast

How Jonathan Vaughters brought Slipstream Sports back from the brink

November 3, 2017

At the end of August Cannondale Drapac were plunged into difficulty when a major potential sponsor pulled away from negotiation. The American team, run by Jonathan Vaughters, were left with a $7,000,000 shortfall and quickly told their riders and staff that if a new sponsor could not be secured then the team would almost certainly fold.


With just a fortnight to save the team a crowd-funding operation was set up, and over $500,000 raised from fan donations. At the same time Vaughters embarked on a risky, and somewhat controversial gamble, signing star rider Rigoberto Uran to a three-year deal despite not having the long-term funds yet in place.


With just days to spare, a potential buy out from another party on the table, and riders jumping ship, the Slipstream Sports operation was saved when Vaughters signed EF Education First as a title sponsor.


In this exclusive podcast interview Vaughters talks candidly about the brinksmanship involved, the high risks stakes, how the support from the Argyle fans spurred him on, the comprises he had to make, and what the future looks like for EF Education First - Drapac powered by Cannondale.