McKay leaves GreenEDGE cycling

Former GreenEDGE CEO Mike McKay (CC)

Fledgling Australian professional cycling team GreenEDGE have lost their chief executive Mike McKay, with the dual Olympic rowing champion citing differences of opinion with team owner Gerry Ryan.

GreenEDGE are working to secure a licence from the sport's international governing body which will allow them to compete in the world's major road races next year, including the Tour de France.

McKay announced his resignation in a statement on Thursday."We're both successful and proud people with high standards and expectations, but ultimately we think differently in our approach to the business," McKay said.

"It's best to part ways early so that everyone can achieve their respective objectives.

"Securing a professional cycling licence will be a historical moment for Australian sport."

McKay thanked Ryan for the opportunity and said he enjoyed his involvement with the organisation and was optimistic they would be financially sound.

"The foundations are now in place and the team has a robust road map with clearly defined pathways and initiatives for sustainable commercial success," McKay said.

McKay, who won Olympic gold in 1992 and 1996 in the coxless fours, worked largely on the commercial side of the operation.

General manager Shayne Bannan and sports director Neil Stephens are heavily involved in developing the team and the licence bid.

They are officially allowed to start signing riders from next Monday.

Cycling Australia boss Graham Fredericks is confident GreenEDGE will gain a licence.

The team stands to benefit in sponsorship and backing from the enormous interest generated in Australia by Cadel Evans's history-making Tour de France victory last weekend.

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