Austria will continue to be represented in the peloton in 2010, as Team Vorarlberg-Corratec announced Friday that it has submitted its documents requesting a Professional Continental licence from the International Cycling Union for the coming year. The team fought to arrange its finances and was able to meet the requirements.
Team Elk Haus, the other Austrian team, announced Thursday that it was folding following the withdrawal of its sponsor.
“Now we must wait for the licence to be issued, and we are eager to go full force into our fifth year as a Professional Continental team,” said team manager Thomas Kofler. The UCI is expected to issue the licence by mid-December.
Part of the application was a bank guarantee of more than 300,000 Swiss Francs, not an easy sum to raise for the small team. “We had a filing extension until November 15, and had to fight to be able to keep up the team in a reasonable form,” Kofler said. “Through the cooperation of our current sponsors, the Vorarlberg Land and the bike manufacturer Corretec, as well as some new partners, we were able to meet the professional requirements.”
Kofler was sorry to see rival team Elk Haus leave the road cycling scene. “Austria absolutely needs a top professional team. It is the only possibility for young Austrian riders to develop themselves for the next level.”
These young riders will be the team's primary focus in the coming year. “We are quite far with our rider planning and will have some new, hungry young riders,” he said.
The team struggled in 2009, with only two wins all season, both scored by Sebastian Siedler. But the difficulties also generated new motivation. “We are going forward with new strength from this fall,” Kofler noted. “I can feel a whole new team spirit. Everyone is pulling together and wants to show what we can do.”
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