Pegasus Sports team manager Chris White has confirmed to Cyclingnews that the team now has the financial backing to complete its UCI Professional Continental licence application.
The team were given until 4pm CET today to file their complete documentation or face exiting the sport and leaving staff and riders without jobs for 2011. The Australian team had failed to attain a ProTeam licence and ProContinental licence during previous attempts.
"We do now have the funds to complete our programme and run the team and be successful. Everything is in hands of the UCI now, we are pleased that the UCI gave us this opportunity and we just can hope for a positive outcome,” White told Cyclingnews.
"It was a funding gap that appeared at the last minute and there was a subtraction of support that came at an untimely point in our overall process and it meant that we went from being funded to being unfunded and having inadequate time to deal with it before the December deadline.”
George Gillett Jr pulled out of backing the team but White has confirmed that a new sponsor has been found at the eleventh hour. He would not reveal the identity of the new backer but did reveal certain details.
"I’ll make an announcement nearer the time but it’s people who are close to us already. It’s not Fly-V or an Australian company. I’m not going to comment if it’s a US company, we need to get through the process first. Unfortunately we weren’t able to get an Australian company interested in our programme at this stage. We believe that may change once they see what we can do.”
White is currently finalising the UCI’s online submission but said that the work is almost done. He isn’t expecting an immediate reaction from the UCI however, and is uncertain if the team can appeal should the UCI knock Pegasus back once again.
"I think the work is largely complete. There are some clerical and administrative delays but it’s all electronic submissions and we’re going through that now."
"I’m not expecting a decision Wednesday European time. I’m not really sure of the schedule but I wouldn’t expect it today but I’m treating it as if it’s our last opportunity but I don’t know if there’s an appeal process. I think the work that we’ve done over the last few days has put the team in a good position for 2011.”
Asked if the funds meant that the team would be forced to downsize in any form, White said: “Our programme is unchanged.”
"We want to get the show on the road and I think we’ve got a really exciting journey ahead of us. We’re all really keen. This last week has really tested us but the solidarity has really shone through."
While White refused to name the main backer Cyclingnews contacted SCOTT.
“We have no comment for now, before making any comments we will wait for a UCI decision to make a official statement.” said Marketing Coordinator Lionel Girardin.
Girardin refused to rule out that SCOTT would become the main financial backer of the team.
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Daniel Benson was the Editor in Chief at Cyclingnews.com between 2008 and 2022. Based in the UK, he joined the Cyclingnews team in 2008 as the site's first UK-based Managing Editor. In that time, he reported on over a dozen editions of the Tour de France, several World Championships, the Tour Down Under, Spring Classics, and the London 2012 Olympic Games. With the help of the excellent editorial team, he ran the coverage on Cyclingnews and has interviewed leading figures in the sport including UCI Presidents and Tour de France winners.