Fernando Alonso has confirmed that his hopes of forming a professional cycling team will not materialise in 2015 but insisted that he still has plans to establish a team at some point in the future. The Formula 1 driver was speaking on Wednesday at an event organised by one of his sponsors in Mexico City.
“Certainly my intention and my wish over this past year was to create a professional team but a series of circumstances have taken place,” Alonso said, according to the EFE news agency. “I think I can combine the two sports – motor-racing and cycling – very well, and it’s something I want to do in the future.”
Alonso first floated the idea of forming a team in the Autumn of 2013, when he was linked with a rescue package for the defunct Euskaltel-Euskadi squad. When that prospect fell through, Alonso began work on establishing a team for the start of the 2015 season with former Italian national coach Paolo Bettini engaged to sign riders for the outfit.
In the early months of 2014, the putative Alonso team was linked with a move for Peter Sagan but the project seemed to lose momentum as the year progressed. In October, Alonso announced a partnership with sports investment group NOVO, but that, too, proved to be a false dawn.
Shortly afterwards, it was reported that Alonso’s team had not applied for a licence for 2015 and earlier this week Bettini told procycling.no that he was no longer involved with the project, which he said had stalled completely.
Speaking on Wednesday, Alonso acknowledged that NOVO had a “different vision” to his own, “especially now in the short term. They have other projects in cycling but not exactly the creation of a new team.”
Alonso repeated his refrain that cycling could benefit from a cross-pollination with some of the ideas and innovations at play in the world of Formula 1.
“There are thing in cycling that F1 is lacking, like sacrifice and teamwork, and then there are things that Formula 1 has and cycling hasn’t, above all technology – the bikes are limited by the rules and they haven’t developed the technology.”