'The relationship will not proceed,' GreenEDGE cycling's founder and principal Gerry Ryan said in a statement released overnight (AEST).
Cycling Central

19 Jun 2020 - 9:14 AM 

GreenEDGE cycling has spectacularly walked away from a deal with the Spanish charity and both the men's and women's teams will race in Mitchelton-Scott livery when racing resumes this season with a 'fully supported financial and technical structure provided by Ryan.'

"We felt a strong initial connection with Mr Francisco Huertas, the Manuela Fundación and their noble aims,” Ryan said.

“However, as the negotiations have evolved after the initial announcement on Friday, we have concluded tha the relationship will not proceed. We wish Mr. Francisco Huertas and the Manuela Fundación all of the best for the future."

The Australian businessman also assured all Mitchelton-Scott staff and riders that their salaries, currently slashed to ensure the team's survival through the coronavirus pandemic, would return to normal once racing resumes in August.

“The COVID-19 global crisis has thrown up many new challenges, but our primary focus remains on our world-class athletes and support staff,” Ryan said.

“This will include a return to full wages for all riders and staff once WorldTour racing commences in August, and a commitment to the year 2021 as we search for a suitable sponsorship.

“We believe in this team, and the people and culture that have made it so successful these past eight years."

"Our riders have been inspiring in their commitment and motivation in what has been an uncertain season, and our staff loyal and determined to provide the best service possible in what will be a busy and challenging end to the year.

"We can’t wait to get back on the road and start winning more races.”

Confusion has surrounded the deal since it was formally announced by GreenEDGE cycling last Friday, with Manuela Fundación spokespeople stating publicly several times it believed it was taking over the team's license in 2021. 

But Ryan confirmed earlier this week with RIDE Media this was not the case.

“I own the team," said Ryan. “It’s an Australian-registered team. Right. You just don’t change team licences… it’s a process if it was to happen."

Those statements prompted a public response from Emilio Rodríguez, the Manuela Fundación’s head of sport, who told Spanish state news agency EFE the foundation had a different view on the content of the negotiations.

"We have been caught offside, but this will sort itself out," said Rodríguez. "We've come into this team to be owners, not just a sponsor."

"They'll know why they said that, but we agreed to form part of the GreenEdge company" – which owns Mitchelton-Scott – "from that day onwards."

"We agreed we were the owners, and that as from January 1, 2021, we would also own the licence once all the paperwork had been handled by the UCI. We came in to save the team, but with our own conditions."

Manuela Fundación U23 team director Manuel Calvente told Cyclingnews overnight (AEST) he was angry and upset about GreenEDGE walking away from the deal.  

"The team buses are in the workshop, stripped of their team colours and waiting for the new publicity and team stickers," Calvente said. "We even received photos showing us how it was all going.

"But above all they've signed something. It's been signed since June 5 and it went public on June 12."

It is not known how close Calvente is to the finer details of the deal.