Bannan still confident of Australian project's WorldTour place
Despite the news that the UCI are still waiting on additional documents in order to secure its WorldTour status for 2012, the GreenEdge team remains confident of its place in cycling's top tier.
GreenEdge General Manager Shayne Bannan told Cyclingnews that today's revelation from the UCI's Licensing Commission was "no surprise" and explained that this was just another step in the lengthy process of becoming Australia's first team in the WorldTour. Team management met with the Licensing Commission last week.
"We've been through a fairly rigorous application process and being a new team they're [the UCI] within their right to make sure everything is thorough, as it should be," he explained. "Again we're confident of supplying the documents that are needed and as urgently as possible."
While Bannan would not confirm just what was required by the UCI, Cyclingnews understands that the remaining requirements relate to minor detail and the additional paperwork would be provided to the governing body in coming days.
With the Pegasus Sports saga still fresh in the memory of many, today's announcement by the UCI did set alarm bells ringing for the Australian cycling community. Bannan rejected any calls for concern while admitting that GreenEdge may have been placed under the microscope with previous projects in mind.
"I think that could be a possibility but the UCI always had the intention to really step up that process with or without what happened to Pegasus, particularly with new teams and quite rightly so as well," he said. "I'd say that any new structure and team will come under more scrutiny than the teams that have been established.
"We understand completely that the application process has to be rigorous and pretty thorough because there's a lot at stake. You're employing up to 60 people in the organisation so the process by the UCI and Ernst & Young has to be quite thorough to be convinced that our structure has the ability to cope financially with the means to support such an organisation over a period of time."
Action from GreenEdge has not just been restricted to administration with development of the team's service course in Brugnello, around 10 kilometres away from home base in Varese.
"It's around 2000 square metres of space that we're turning into a mechanics area with various storerooms and plenty of room to park the fleet of vehicles that we have," Bannan explained. "In building a team, we've got a service course to organise, we've got vehicles to organise, equipment to come in and really we're starting from a clean slate to everything has to be built from the ground up.
"Generally once the competition starts everything should be in place. Then it's the job of the directors to make sure the riders are motivated and in good form and hopefully we can enjoy some racing."
Meantime, Bannan confirmed that an announcement regarding the GreenEdge women's team will be forthcoming mid-December.
"We remain pretty confident we'll be in the WorldTour peloton next year and it's really a waiting game now," Bannan concluded.