• Lasse Norman Hansen of Aqua Blue Sport in action during stage two of the Tour of Denmark in August 2018 (Getty)Source: Getty
Another season, another cycling team folds - this time, pro continental team Aqua Blue Sport.
Cycling Central

28 Aug 2018 - 8:47 AM 

In an official announcement released overnight, the team said it based its decision on a failed attempt to merge with pro-continental team Verandas Willems-Crelan (Sniper Cycling) and to obtain invitations from the big races in 2018. 

Irish millionaire Rick Delaney launched the team in early 2017 with an ambitious vision to become self-sustaining through its cycling products, e-commerce site.

The team was invited to the Tour de Suisse and Vuelta a España that year winning stages at both, via Larry Warbasse (Stage 4) and Stefan Denifl (Stage 17). 

But the team did not receive wild cards to any of the grand tours in 2018 and other WorldTour race invitations were few and far between. 

So it attempted a merger with Sniper Cycling. "Over the past weeks we had formed the basis of an agreement many times but unfortunately common sense did not prevail," read the team statement. 

"We believed on numerous occasions the deal was so far advanced it was a foregone conclusion that a partnership would be achieved. Today we now find ourselves in a position where we can categorically state that all negotiations have been terminated."

The mullet still flies
Shane Archbold, the Kiwi affectionately known as 'The Flying Mullet,' made a name for himself shepherding sprinters but following a career-threatening crash at the Tour de France has declared he is now also in the game for himself.

Aqua Blue Sport jumped the gun with the merger, releasing a statement early this month that the deal was done. Sniper Cycling immediately released its own statement disassociating from Aqua Blue's announcement. 

Riders and support staff now face an uncertain future, although all but two riders signed two-year contracts with the team in 2017 and were without teams for 2019 anyway.  


"We have made some fundamental mistakes and errors of judgement ultimately bringing our 'on road' ambitions to an unfortunate end," the statement read. 

"We are not going to give up with our passion of becoming a sustainable cycling team and will continue to grow and develop our e-commerce platform."

Viviani vanquishes rivals for first Vuelta victory
Elia Viviani continued with his great run of form in 2018 to win Stage 3 of the Vuelta a España, his first at the Spanish grand tour.
Is Jack Haig Australia’s next great GC hope?
He is currently Simon Yates’s trusted deputy at the Vuelta a España, but could Jack Haig one day be leading his own red jersey campaign? And might he need to leave Mitchelton-Scott to do it?
How the Vuelta GC looks after Stage 2
A fairly tame looking stage in the road book blew the race somewhat apart and a clearer picture emerged of who may feature in the top 10 come Madrid.