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Formula One driver Fernando Alonso still wants to create a cycling team, but he admitted it won’t be happening anytime soon.
In his first public comments in weeks, the two-time world champion confirmed statements this week from Paolo Bettini that plans for a team are dead in the water.
Speaking to reporters in Mexico City during a publicity swing for Ferrari, Alonso said things went sideways with sponsors, derailing his project for the 2015 season.
“It’s true my intention and desire during the last year was to create a professional team, but a series of circumstances have happened,” Alonso told the EFE news wire service.
“I believe you can very easily combine the two sports — cycling and auto racing — and that’s something I want to do in the future,” he continued.
Alonso hinted that he had a falling out with his principal backers for the cycling team, Novo Group Holdings, an investment group from the United Arab Emirates, saying, “They had a different vision, above all in the short term.”
Last month, the UCI confirmed that Alonso would not have a team for the 2015 season after missing a required deadline of October 1 to file bank deposits and other applications for a racing license.
Alonso’s difficulties to enter the sport come as a blow to the Spanish peloton, which could use a boost after seeing a steady erosion of its impact in the peloton. Once with nine UCI ProTeams a decade ago, Spain now only has one team in the WorldTour (Movistar) and one Pro Continental team (Caja Rural).