Mixed fortunes for Cinelli-Down Under

The Cinelli-Down Under team has experienced mixed fortunes over the past two weeks. Nico Mattan's outfit has received a International Cycling Union (UCI) licence, but it won't be able to ride some of the events team management had hoped to participate in.

Having hoped to ride this weekend's Omloop Het Nieuwsblad, the team's licensing arrangements involving its Australian connections weren't finalised until Monday, and Mattan is confident the Belgian end of proceedings won't be a problem.

"On Monday the licence was finally in the mailbox," Mattan told Het Laatste Nieuws. "Now our Belgian licence needs to be in order, but that's just a formality."

The team, complete with Belgian Frank Vandenbroucke on board, will begin its campaign in Saturday's Beverbeek Classic. It's the first of a number of Belgian races for the outfit, although Mattan was disappointed other events couldn't be included in that program.

"We won't start the E3 Prijs and the Three Days of De Panne because both are HC-ranked events," Mattan explained. "The hunger [to race] is there for Frank Vandenbroucke. He is very concerned about the fate of the team.

"On training runs on the flat, everyone is on Frank's wheel, although the mountains take some effort, because he still needs to lose four to five kilograms," he added.

Cinelli-Down Under's Program: Beverbeek Classic (Feb 27), GP Samyn (March 4), Driedaagse van West-Vlaanderen (March 6-8), Omloop van het Waasland (March 15), Nokere Koerse (March 18), Dwars door Vlaanderen (March 25), Brabantse Pijl (March 28).

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