The Pegasus Sports team failed to secure a Profesional Continental licence for 2011 because it "did not provide either a bank guarantee or sufficient financial guarantees for 2011," the UCI said. The International governing body of the sport also criticised the "rather unprofessional" management of the team.
In a brief but damning statement issued on Thursday afternoon, the UCI explained some of its reasoning for the licence denial, noting that "the full reasons will be communicated to the team's management in the next few days."
The UCI cited "the serious shortcomings the formation had presented" in its licence application. It added that "the UCI feels obliged to explain that despite the public announcements, the management of the Pegasus Sport project proved to be rather unprofessional from the start."
The UCI claims the team "didn't respect the deadline of October 1st fixed for the initial registration deadline.
"Following this first and significant non-conformity of the regulations," all of the riders were then free to look for other teams, the UCI pointed out.
Pegasus missed out on the much desired ProTeam licence because it was too lowly ranked in the UCI's sporting criteria based on the riders it had signed. It was thus then considered for a Professional Continental licence.
"However, given the shortcomings on the the financial side, which could not guarantee that the team would survive the whole 2011 season, this option had to be rejected."
Pegasus appealed this decision, but "still did not change its attitude: it did not undertake the necessary steps to rectify the shortcomings regarding the the UCI regulation."
Even then the licence commission granted Pegasus an extension. "Yet at the end of this ultimate chance, fundamental documents such as the bank guarantee and sufficient financial guarantees for 2011 are still missing from the Pegasus Sports file."
Disappointment, regrets and sympathy
The UCI expressed "its deep disappointment“ with the situation, calling the idea of an Australian professional team "a new and very important step in the process of the globalisation of cycling"
"The UCI can now only sincerely regret this conduct from the leaders of Pegasus Sports and express its sympathy to all the riders and others involved with the Australian team who unfortunately bear the consequences."