Team Vorarlberg-Corratec must do without its biggest name rider. Rene Haselbacher has refused to sign a new contract with the team, which has fallen to Continental status.
The Austrian team had its Professional Continental licence revoked by the International Cycling Union last month, and only on Thursday was it awarded a Continental licence. The riders were offered new contracts.
“I have not signed one of those,” Haselbacher, 32, said on his personal website. I am now training normally, but without a team. In the next weeks I will know what my athletic future is. I will look to have discussions with teams.”
Haselbacher has moved to South Africa and trains in a South African jersey. Since he is no longer with the Vorarlberg-Corratec team, he will be unable to ride the Tour of Austria, which starts on Sunday, July 4.
“I am happy for my friends on the team that they can continue to ride through the end of the year and I wish them a successful Tour,” he said.
Haselbacher rode for Team Gerolsteiner from 1999 to 2006, and for Astana in 2007 and 2008, before joining Vorarlberg-Corratec last year. He won the Austrian national title in 2002 and the Rheinland Pfalz Rundfahrt in 2006.