Unibet future no sure bet

Unibet.com ProTour team general manager Koen Terryn is pessimistic about the future of the team, with an imminent announcement expected over the organisation's future in the sport. On Monday the team was told that it is not welcome at the Vuelta a Espana, meaning the squad has not contested a single Grand Tour this year, despite the ProTour licencing agreement stating all teams under its governance will gain automatic entry into these events. Unibet.com, a Sweden-based online gambling firm, will decide today if it will continue with its investment in cycling.

"We will know more [then]. The figures of the second quarter will be released then in Sweden, they will decide then if the team will continue. I am very pessimistic about the whole thing," explained Terryn to Sports Wereld. "With the team we have not been able to ride even one of the big Tours thanks to the boycott by ASO. If they decide tomorrow to shut the team down, it will be a great disaster. We have still got riders under contract for next season"

Despite the squad posting strong results in the events it has contested, its position as a political pawn in the Grand Tours and UCI's ongoing battle has prevented the gaming giant from getting the in-competition exposure required to warrant its multi-million Euro investment.

"There is a chance that the team will continue in 2008, but who wants to pump eight million Euros into a team that you hardly ever see at work, or who have to compete with question marks on their jerseys?," confessed Terryn. "Finding new sponsors is not easy. Cycling's image has been tainted, thanks to the doping scandals of the last few weeks. Who is going to be crazy enough to pump handfuls of cash into a team to only be confronted with a new doping process."

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