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Mercury suspended by UCI

Team Mercury's season came to an end on Monday, when it was announced that the UCI has suspended the team for failing to meet financial obligations. After co-sponsor Viatel went bankrupt in the middle of the season, Mercury was left short on funds, and eventually had to draw on the escrow account required by the UCI. Once the team began to draw on those funds, it had 30 days to replenish the account, which must contain an amount equal to three months of staff and rider salaries. When the team failed to do so, it was suspended beginning October 1. "We actually knew it was coming. My

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By VeloNews staff

Wordin says Moninger will be back.

Wordin says Moninger will be back.

Photo: VeloNews file photo

Team Mercury’s season came to an end on Monday, when it was announced that the UCI has suspended the team for failing to meet financial obligations. After co-sponsor Viatel went bankrupt in the middle of the season, Mercury was left short on funds, and eventually had to draw on the escrow account required by the UCI. Once the team began to draw on those funds, it had 30 days to replenish the account, which must contain an amount equal to three months of staff and rider salaries. When the team failed to do so, it was suspended beginning October 1.

“We actually knew it was coming. My attorney and the attorney for the UCI have been in touch every day,” team director John Wordin told VeloNews at the Interbike trade show in Las Vegas. “If it has to come, this is the time of year for it to happen. We are pretty much done with our racing… now the thing we have to work on is getting it ready for next year.”

The team could face more troubles next year if this year’s obligations are not met. The UCI could deny the team a Division I sanction.

Wordin, however, said that riders and sponsors are on board for next year. “Mercury is back. They’re in for 2202. We’ll be on Fuji bikes, Bell helmets. We have a solid group of sponsors. We have Gord [Fraser], Henk [Vogels], Chris Wherry, Scott [Moninger] …. We have people who want to sponsor us and riders who want to ride for us. We’ll be racing next year.”