Dutch rider Kai Reus seemed to be a sure bet for a 2013 contract with UnitedHealthcare after he won a stage in the Tour of Portugal, but when the full 21-rider roster was released, his name was absent.
The 27-year-old is now facing an uphill battle to find a team for the coming year.
Reus has had a rocky time since his career was interrupted by a crash in training that resulted in severe head injuries in 2007. He returned to the ProTour with Rabobank two years later, but was again stopped by mononucleosis and briefly retired from the sport.
He returned with the Continental Cycling Team De Rijke in 2011 and won a stage of the Mi-Août en Bretagne, and was picked up by the American Pro Continental team for 2012.
His early season was affected by a training crash that kept him out of the Tour of California, but he rebounded in the late season with the stage win in Portugal.
However, it was not enough to earn him a new contract. He and fellow Dutchman Boy van Poppel and American Jason McCartney are among those not renewed with the team.
"They mainly went with Americans," Reus said to AD.nl.
Heading into December without a contract, Reus is remaining optimistic that something will come through. "It's a difficult time with all the doping affairs. Also, just about everyone in cycling is currently on vacation. But there are some contacts. I have faith," he said.
Meanwhile, he stays fit with his second sport, marathon skating, and riding on the velodrome.