The future of the Rock Racing and Murcia teams looks more positive, with reports from Spain suggesting the two outfits are close to a merger for the 2010 season.
There has been talk of ongoing negotiations between the two squads in recent weeks and Spanish website esciclismo.com has now reported that the pair are on the verge of confirming their application for an International Cycling Union (UCI) Continental licence under the Rock Racing-Murcia banner. The site added that the team is likely to be registered in Mexico.
There had been doubts about the survival of both teams. Last month, Rock Racing failed on appeal to overturn a rejection of its application for Pro Continental status. Meanwhile, what was the Contentpolis-AMPO-Murcia team folded at the end of 2009, although Murcia’s regional authority has since been insisting that its line-up of mainly local riders will return to competition this season.
According to reports from Spain, registration in Mexico will necessitate the hiring of a substantial number of Mexican riders alongside Rock Racing’s big names, including Paco Mancebo, Oscar Sevilla, Víctor Hugo Peña and new arrival Floyd Landis. It has yet to be confirmed whether some or indeed any of Murcia’s elite and under-23 riders will join the set-up.
At the moment, indications are that the Spanish end of the newly merged outfit would play a logistical and support role when the team is racing in Europe.
Esciclismo.com’s sources indicate that the team is intending to apply for Pro Continental status in 2011.
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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