Become a Member

Get access to more than 30 brands, premium video, exclusive content, events, mapping, and more.

Already have an account? Sign In

Become a Member

Get access to more than 30 brands, premium video, exclusive content, events, mapping, and more.

Already have an account? Sign In

Brands

Road

Alonso misses team registration deadline; pro continental still an option

A spokesperson insists that the Alonso project has a plan and expects to get a team up and running, but time is running out

Don't miss a moment from Paris-Roubaix and Unbound Gravel, to the Giro d’Italia, Tour de France, Vuelta a España, and everything in between when you join Outside+.

Spanish newspaper AS reported Tuesday that sources have said that Formula One champion Fernando Alonso and his investment group, NOVO Holdings, have not met the October 1 deadline to register a cycling team with the UCI.

It was reported that Alonso’s organization had met the requirements for a WorldTour team registration earlier, including a 16,000 Euro guarantee. However, on the October 1 deadline, the prospective team did not provide a minimum roster of 10 riders, which is required by the UCI. The UCI process also requires a license application and a paid bank guarantee, neither of which were submitted by the Alonso group.

“A pro cycling team is not a business,” NOVO representative Nathan Pillai said to SportsPro. “If we are going to do this, we want to be around for the long-term — we don’t want to come in or out based on a sponsor need, so we wanted to create our own franchise, one that would sustain beyond a three or five-year sponsorship deal. In order to do that we needed to have a sustainable business model and that’s what we’re doing now.”

Alonso may not be entirely out of options. The UCI does allow teams to apply after October 1 but before November 1. In doing so, the Fernando Alonso Cycling Team (FACT) would have to pay a daily fine, and it could only register as a professional continental squad.

Despite September’s encouraging news that Alonso had partnered with NOVO, no riders have confirmed any deals with FACT. Furthermore, recent reports indicate that former world champion Paolo Bettini, who had acted as consultant team manager, has severed ties with the project.

“We do have a plan and roadmap in place,” Pillai told SportsPro. “All I can say on that is that we remain committed to getting that up and running. There has been a lot of speculation but it’s unfortunately the nature of the beast — I can tell you now a lot of what is written is inaccurate. We’ve been trying to find a way to do this, and if we’re going to do this it has to be done in the right way.”

Although Alonso and NOVO’s deliberate approach is admirable, they may be running out of time ahead of the 2015 season.