Australian's 2015 Tinkoff-Saxo team bike
Winner of the 2015 Tour Down Under
New and old kicks and lids seen at WorldTour race
Wiggle Honda team bike of two-time World Champion
Fred Rodriguez (Exergy) riding in the bunch.
Energy company dogged by non-payment issues
Despite recent assurances that the team would continue for 2013, American UCI Continental outfit Team Exergy will not have the financial backing to continue next season.
Just last week, team manager Remi McManus told Cyclingnews that the outfit would enter the season with a reduced roster compared to the 2012 season, when the team started things off with 16 riders, the Continental team maximum. Three-time US road champion Freddie Rodriguez was confirmed to start once again, as was Canadian criterium champion Ben Chaddock.
James Carkulis, CEO of Exergy Development Group blames the recent turmoil within cycling that has occurred in the wake of USADA's investigation into Lance Armstrong and the resulting criticism of the UCI for the decision.
"I am totally disheartened to have to place our sponsor dollars for our disciplined men's team on hiatus for the 2013 season, but there is no choice given the corruption prevalent within the sport," he said in a statement. "The magnitude of this situation should not be taken lightly and ignoring the severity is not going to rebuild the public's trust in the sport. This has not been an easy decision, but one shared by our team management. In cooperation with management, we will ensure that each rider is placed and provided for. Exergy will not sit idly by, but intends to offer up rational solutions over the next month which regenerates the greatness of this perfect synthesis between man and machine."
It's a curious explanation given Exergy Development has been called out for not paying invoices related to its sponsorship of the Exergy Tour and the USA Pro Cycling Challenge. Exergy Development Group was the title sponsor for last year's US Gran Prix of Cyclocross and this year's inaugural women's UCI stage race in Idaho. The company sponsored the 2012 Nature Valley Grand Prix sprinter's jersey and the most aggressive rider jerseys for Medalist Sports-run Tour of California and Tour of Utah. The company is listed as a Founding Partner, the highest level of sponsorship, for the upcoming USA Pro Cycling Challenge in Colorado, also run by Medalist Sports. USA Cycling lists Exergy as one of its sponsors as well.
It is understood that Exergy's sponsorship of women's team Exergy-Twenty12 is not in jeopardy.