Cycling - Paule Ka team to fold, says sponsor failed to pay

PARIS (Reuters) - The Paule Ka women’s cycling team said on Friday it was ending its racing activities with immediate effect because its French fashion label sponsor had failed to make payments since August.

Paule Ka became Bigla-Katusha’s main sponsor in July and committed to the team until 2024 but made only one payment, the team said.

“It is with great regret that Équipe Paule Ka announces the immediate cessation of its racing season and, unfortunately, the closure of the team - currently ranked fourth in the world with over 3000 UCI points - due to the absence of sponsor payments since August,” Equipe Paule Ka said in a statement.

“After late payment of its first instalment in July, the French fashion company Paule Ka then failed to pay the team in the months of August, September and October, despite multiple assurances that the payments were on their way.”

Paule Ka was not immediately reachable for comment.

The company says on its website it has a presence in 37 countries, with more than 320 points of sale and 90 boutiques and department store spaces dedicated exclusively to the label.

Reporting by Julien Pretot; Editing by Toby Davis