ONE Pro scrap plans for women's team

British team will cease operations completely in 2019

Plans for a women's squad at ONE Pro Cycling have been scrapped, a month after the British team announced they were cutting their men's Pro Continental squad in order to create the women's set-up.

The team, founded by Matt Prior in 2015, announced the change in direction at the start of September, describing the opportunities on the women's side of the sport as "very exciting". 

At the time, they suggested their existing sponsors would move across to fund the women's team. "Our partners have been notified and the change of direction has been met with great positivity," read their statement. 

However, the team announced on Tuesday that a lack of sponsorship has forced them to scrap the plans, and now the ONE Pro team will not exist in any guise in 2019. 

"ONE Pro Cycling are sadly forced to announce that we will not be able to run a UCI cycling team for the 2019 season," ready Tuesday's statement. 

"The team were committed to putting together a woman’s UCI squad for next season but due to lack of sponsorship we have not been able to raise a satisfactory budget to match our aims."

ONE Pro Cycling was set up in 2015 by ex-cricketer Prior, who repeatedly voiced a desire to take the team to the WorldTour. After one season at Continental level on the British domestic circuit, they secured a Professional Continental licence for 2016 but, instead of making the next step, they took one backwards as a budget shortfall forced them back to the Continental ranks. 

At the time Prior said the ambition to make it to the WorldTour remained in tact but, two years on, he decided to pull the plug on the 10-rider squad in order to move into women's cycling. Now the team will disappear completely, though it was not confirmed this would be the very end of the road. 

"We are keen to pick up this journey for 2020 and will continue conversations throughout 2019," read Tuesday's statement. 

"ONE Pro Cycling would like to thank all members, fans, partners and staff for their support. We set out with a hugely ambitious plan and are very proud of everything we have achieved over the past four years."

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