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Riders start the search for a new team
Reactions from members of the Pegasus Sports team to the news that the team wouldn't receive a Professional Continental licence were mixed with a sense of both anger to resignation. The International Cycling Union announced Monday evening that it had denied the Australian team's application.
Robbie McEwen was to be the team's biggest name, and his anger at the news came through on his Twitter account. “Well done UCI ... thanks a lot,” he tweeted. “So much work, effort, commitment, passion, sacrifice, been for nothing, devastating.”
South African Daryl Impey Tweeted, “ Well there you go, no license for the team. Thanks for that, cycling is an unfair sport...”
Fellow South African Robbie Hunter Tweeted, “Bad time for Pegasus, was really keen for it to work & I don't blame Chris White. Confident I'll get a ride soon! Hope others will be fine too.”
Meanwhile, Hunter did what comes naturally to a pro cyclist. “One thing I am doing is training like I normally do.. Did 185kms today great prep for 2011.. Gotta start with a bang!!!!!
Others expressed their shock but were already at work looking for a new team. Thomas Rohregger had been exploring his options for several weeks, but wasn't optimistic, telling DerStandard.at, “I am hoping for a Christmas miracle.”
The Austrian's Milram teammate, Christian Knees, is also looking around. His agent “is already holding talks with other teams, but at this point it is of course very difficult to find an alternative," he told Radsport-News.com.
The German national champion noted that “he had not figured” on the rejection. “I assumed everything was ok.”
Sports director Hendrik Redant called the news “a real shock.” He told the Belga news agency, "It's hard, especially since we lost a sponsor and with little time started looking for other lenders, which we also found. Apparently not enough for the UCI. It's unfortunate because what we have so far built up was the diligent work of a whole team that really sparks. And was determined to do well this coming season.
"What will happen next? At the moment I can't really think of an appropriate answer to give. I just heard the disturbing news just a few hours ago myself.”
"Now I can only wait and see,” said Belgian rider Dominique Cornu. The Pegasus project was “very attractive,” he told Belga, but “Obviously I made a wrong choice.”
"I will look for a new team, but that will not easy. Most teams have their squads already established. Is there still space somewhere? Are there teams with enough budget left to take on more people?”