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Robbie McEwen (Katusha) in the red jersey
White hopes for speedy resolution to baffling situation
Pegasus Racing CEO Chris White has explained that his team's absence on the UCI's list of 20 squads seeking a ProTour licence for 2011, announced yesterday, is due to a technical glitch of which he was only informed late last night.
White told Cyclingnews, "I'm still in the dark about it. We submitted all details to the UCI - the requisite bank guarantees, business plans and rider roster - and I found out in the middle of the night that something had gone wrong."
He explained that he tried to contact Ernst and Young Lausanne, which is handling the document compliance, organisation and submission in Switzerland, but its offices had closed for business by the time of his discovery that a problem existed.
He gave assurances that a representative from the team was sent with the documentation to ensure its safe arrival ahead of the October 1 deadline, however.
"We flew to the UCI Headquarters in Switzerland from Australia to lodge our application, confident of the integrity and robustness of our submission," White had earlier said in a press statement concerning the situation.
"However, we were advised by the UCI yesterday that our application was non-compliant due to incomplete documentation. We immediately sought to clarify with the UCI and the process towards resolution is underway."
White stated that the fact his team has yet to announce a headline sponsor for next year "was irrelevant" to the chances of the application being successful, citing the Luxembourg Pro Cycling Project as an example of a squad that has its financial security guaranteed despite not declaring which company will sponsor it in 2011.
"I believe we submitted a complete and compliant application to the UCI," said White, adding that he's confident the glitch can be rectified swiftly.
White also explained that he is still looking for four riders to fill the team's roster that includes Robbie McEwen (above right), with a 'marquee' general classification contender the main target of his search. He said that the squad's Classics stocks are strong but there's a requirement for a bigger tour rider in the ranks.
"There are a lot of riders on the market at the moment and we're talking to some who are available and looking at the options," he said.