UPDATE: Lloyd vows to return
Cycling Australia will look to help Matthew Lloyd, who was let go by Omega Pharma-Lotto on Thursday. The federation cannot help him find a new team, but offers support to those involved in the national programme, it said.
Kevin Tabotta, the federation's national performance director, told sbs.com that he would get in contact with Matt White, the professional men's road co-ordinator who is based in Spain, to see what, if anything, they can do.
“The critical point here is we’re not 100 per cent sure of the circumstances around this as of today,” Tabotta said.
“We need to establish where it is we can assist him. How we can help I’m unsure of yet because we need to really sit down and talk with him (Lloyd). Matthew White will do that, if he hasn’t already, and from there work out if there is anything that Cycling Australia can do.”
Tabotta noted, however, that “Anything that’s broken down between (Lloyd) and his team is really a matter for him and his team. We’ll try and support him wherever we can but we’re not a professional organisation running a team in the men’s professional peloton – no national federation is.”
Lloyd: I will be back
Lloyd has vowed to return to the sport. "I will be back," he told the AAP news agency. “There's no way I could even think about leaving the sport - it's part of my life, it's what I do."
"I'm eager to make sure the physical condition continues to develop in a really good way and make sure when I come back I'm the same, if not stronger than I was before."
The 27-year-old did not discuss the reason's behind his dismissal.
"I feel naturally as happy as I can be - I have a new house here (in Italy), which I've been working on," he said.
"I've obviously gone through a stage in January and February that was difficult, with various injuries."
Gilbert: “Personal problems”
Omega Pharma-Lotto captain Philippe Gilbert said the incident was a reminder that “there is a life outside of our sport.”
The riders were informed of the incident in an email from the team. “Problems in the private sphere, it said,” he wrote in his column in Het Laatste Nieuws, according to sporza.be.
"Matthew is a cool guy, but I can't say I had an excellent relationship with him. There was simply no bond. In three years time we rode together maybe five races. Outside of that we had absolutely no contact."
"Nevertheless, I am sorry for him. I've said it before: ce n'est que du Cyclisme, it's just racing. There is another life outside our sport."
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