Former Rabobank manager Erik Breukink says he should know within the next few weeks whether the Pro Continental team he is attempting to put together with Michael Boogerd, Jean-Paul van Poppel and Michael Zijlaard will launch in 2015. Speaking to Cyclingnews, Breukink says he is "hopeful of a positive outcome" for the Orange Cycling Team, which would become the only Dutch team registered at that level.
"We've been talking to sponsors with a view to getting a final answer at the end of this month or in early July," said Breukink. "It is always difficult to find sponsors and, of course, that’s our first priority, but I'm hopeful of a positive outcome.”
Breukink says that he and former Rabobank rider Boogerd, former Cervélo DS van Poppel and agent/event manager Zijlaard have the experience and contacts to be able to get the team off the ground. “We’re all working hard on this, sharing out the tasks between us, and we’re getting a lot of good feedback.
"There is currently no Dutch team at the Pro Continental level so there's a gap between those in the WorldTour and the Continental outfits. Having a team in the middle that would be focused very much around home-grown talent would be good for Dutch riders."
The budget for the team is expected to be around 3 to 3.5 million euros, with up to 20 riders likely to feature on the roster if the team does take shape.
Peter Cossins has written about professional cycling since 1993 and is a contributing editor to Procycling. He is the author of The Monuments: The Grit and the Glory of Cycling's Greatest One-Day Races (Bloomsbury, March 2014) and has translated Christophe Bassons' autobiography, A Clean Break (Bloomsbury, July 2014).
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