Fernando Alonso has reportedly shelved plans to launch a new team for the 2015 season, after failing to finalise his rider roster by the UCI's required deadline.
By
Cycling Central

7 Apr 2015 - 5:20 PM  UPDATED 13 Apr 2015 - 3:34 PM

According to Spanish newspaper AS, Alonso still intends to create a team, but will delay the launch until at least the 2016 season.

The news comes just days after the the Fernando Alonso Cycling Team (FACT) had missed an earlier deadline to apply for WorldTour status. UCI president Brian Cookson revealed ahead of the Giro di Lombardia that Alonso's team would not be eligible for WorldTour status, but could still move forward as a ProContinental, or even a third-tier, Continental squad, if it so chose.

Those plans appear now dashed with AS confirming FACT management will not pursue either of those options.

The FACT has been something of an enigmatic project since its inception, with its on-again, off-again status an unsettling force on the rider transfer market and the cycling establishment.

In 2013, the Alonso project appeared set to enter the WorldTour through an eleventh-hour deal with the now-defunct Euskaltel-Euskadi to acquire its license. That agreement however fell flat after both parties failed to come to an agreement on the specific financial terms.

After leaving those plans behind, Alonso committed to starting his own project from scratch and set forth with the target of having a team unveiled in time for the second rest day of the 2014 Tour de France, in Carcassonne - but nothing eventuated.

The UCI is expected to confirm the news in the next few days, when it releases the full list of Professional Continental teams for the 2015 season.