In less than a week, the Australian-registered WorldTour pro cycling team was said to have changed names and, according to some, ownership. But an announcement overnight has ruled out any collaboration between Mitchelton-Scott and the Manuela Fundación.
Last Friday news emerged that the Mitchelton-Scott team would switch titles and become known as Manuela Fundación as of 1 July 2020. Six days and, no doubt, many interesting discussions later, it’s status quo. The team remains Australian owned. It retains its title. And the Spanish connection is now void.
RIDE Media spoke with the team’s main benefactor, Gerry Ryan, on Wednesday and he expressed concerns about the nature of the deal.
An update on what was fast becoming something of a pro cycling soap opera was issued by the team overnight. Below is a verbatim transcript.
STATEMENT: Future of GreenEDGE Cycling
After careful consideration, GreenEDGE Cycling has today advised Mr. Francisco Huertas, owner of Manuela Fundación, that it will not proceed with the Head of Terms established on June 5, 2020.
“We felt a strong initial connection with Mr Francisco Huertas, the Manuela Fundación and their noble aims,” team founder and principal Gerry Ryan explained.
“However, as the negotiations have evolved after the initial announcement on Friday, we have concluded that the relationship will not proceed. We wish Mr. Francisco Huertas and the Manuela Fundación all of the best for the future.”
Moving forward, the GreenEDGE Cycling men’s and women’s teams will return to racing next month under the existing Mitchelton-SCOTT banner, with a fully supported financial and technical structure provided by Ryan.
“The COVID-19 global crisis has thrown up many new challenges, but our primary focus remains on our world-class athletes and support staff,” Mr Ryan assured.
“This will include a return to full wages for all riders and staff once WorldTour racing commences in August, and a commitment to the year 2021 as we search for a suitable sponsorship.
“We believe in this team, and the people and culture that have made it so successful these past eight years. Our riders have been inspiring in their commitment and motivation in what has been an uncertain season, and our staff loyal and determined to provide the best service possible in what will be a busy and challenging end to the year. We can’t wait to get back on the road and start winning more races.”