Cycling Australia has ended its involvement in the Orica-Scott women's team and the Mitchelton-Scott men's under-23 program.
Cycling Central

12 Sep 2017 - 7:45 PM  UPDATED 12 Sep 2017 - 7:50 PM

Long-time Australian cycling benefactor Gerry Ryan has guaranteed two of his teams will continue after the sport's governing body withdrew support.

Cycling Australia has confirmed it will no longer be involved in the Orica-Scott women's and Mitchelton-Scott men's under-23 teams.

It is another sign of changing times at CA, which is weathering plenty of criticism for a controversial selection call ahead of this month's world road championships.

Sprinter Chloe Hosking has launched an appeal, being heard this week, after selectors decided to only fill five of the seven available spots for the national women's team.

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Australia’s cycling community remains divided on a decision to fill only five of a qualified seven places in the national women’s team ahead of the UCI Road World Championships.

Ryan owns GreenEDGE Cycling, which runs three professional teams - the Orica-Scott men's elite program, the Orica-Scott women and the Mitchelton-Scott under-23 men.

As the fallout continues from Australian cycling's disastrous Rio campaign, CA has ended the joint agreement for the women's and under-23 teams.

Ryan lauded the women's team as one of this year's shining lights in GreenEDGE cycling, with their Dutch star Annamiek van Vleuten the world No.1.

He added that Mitchelton-Scott had shown plenty of potential in its debut season.

"The decision of others is out of our hands but we believe they deserve our support, and a lot more," Ryan said in a team statement.

CA said in a statement that the body had a long relationship with the Orica-Scott women's team and more recently with the under-23, providing coaching and leadership expertise.

"Gerry's ongoing support for Australian cycling and his passion and vision for the GreenEdge professional cycling team is legendary and recognised around the world," the statement continued.

"From next year, Cycling Australia will focus on individual athletes, domestic development of road cycling and our role in the Australian cycling team at world championships and Olympics.

"This is an amicable ending to a long and successful partnership and we look forward to working with GreenEdge in the future."

Orica-Scott General Manager Shayne Bannan noted that the outfit had yet to find a corporate sponsor to replace departing Orica and that Ryan had personally guaranteed financial support through 2018.

“We have a lot to be thankful for with Gerry,” Bannan said. “It’s no secret that Orica, who have served us so well as the biggest Australian sporting team sponsorship over the past five years, leave us this year.

“We are still on the hunt for a replacement naming rights sponsor across all three teams, and without that, the guarantee Gerry has made to these women and young men is a direct commitment from him personally.

“For riders, it has provided security for another season, and for us as an organisation, it has allowed us to plan ahead whilst we continue to search for a new corporate sponsor. It means we can continue to deliver results and a product that is a desirable and beneficial investment.”