Funding secured, Pegasus Sports team is racing to meet UCI deadline
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Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Funding secured, Pegasus Sports team is racing to meet UCI deadline

by Shane Stokes at 7:28 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
 
Riders agree to a pay cut to keep team afloat

Robbie McEwenHaving managed to raise the funding to pay the necessary bank guarantee, the Pegasus Sports team is currently racing to get the documentation in to the UCI before this afternoon’s deadline. One of the team’s existing backers has put its weight behind the team, thus enabling it to keep chasing the UCI Pro Continental licence it needs for 2011.

The Australian setup was left seriously short when main backer George Gillett Jr. backed out of an agreement with the team. As a result it was unable to get the documentation to the UCI by its original deadline, and was turned down for a Pro Continental licence. It was however given an extension until today.

VeloNation has spoken to an agent representing several of the professionals signed to the team. He said that things are looking better than they were before. “The riders are being told that they have everything in order and they have enough money there,” he stated. “They are just scrambling to get everything in on time, and hopefully they will be able to do so.”

He explained that the team worked out an agreement to reduce the financial burden at this point in time. The UCI bank guarantee is calculated based on the salaries due to be paid to the riders. “A few riders have taken a pay cut,” he said, adding that these will go back to the original levels if and when the previous planned budget is restored.

UCI spokesman Enrico Carpani spoke to VeloNation from Columbia, where the next round of the track World Cup is due to be held. “Today is the deadline for applications, but if they get the necessary documentation in on time, no announcement will be made today,” he said. “A decision will be taken at a later point, then the UCI will announce it.”

There are a number of big name riders on the team, including twelve time Tour de France stage winner and triple Maillot Vert Robbie McEwen, double stage victor Robbie Hunter and others. Their past record suggests that they should be able to secure a ride elsewhere if the team does stop, although the fact that this is taking place so late in the season would presumably decrease the financial return they would get with a replacement team.

However for the other riders, things would be more complicated. “One of my riders would definitely be fine, he has a plan B,” the agent told VeloNation. “Another one might be okay. But the others I represent don’t have anything…it would be a disaster if the team stops.”

The riders, staff and supporters of the team will hope that the necessary documentation does reach the UCI in time, and that things progress forwards. There’s sixteen days to go until the end of the year, and the next period in time will be crucial for what would be the first Australian team at this level.
 

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