Rapha Condor Sharp have fallen victim to the flight chaos currently gripping much of the northern hemisphere and are stranded in New York.
Eight riders and three staff were in America for the Tour of the Battenkill at the weekend, and have now been told by their airline that the earliest they can fly them home is April 29th.
“We were on the only flight out, going to Glasgow, at 11.30 last night,” team boss John Herety said. “We were just starting to get excited as every other flight before and after us was cancelled, then they pulled us off.”
The cancellation means the team will more than likely miss the Tour of Brittany that starts this Sunday, and start the CiCLE classic with just four riders. “Our chances of riding in Brittany are very slim. We’re stuck here for nine days at least, so we’ve decided to have a bit of a training camp, probably up in Connecticut.”
“Rapha have been pulling out all the stops. They’ve got some customers in Connecticut who’ve invited us to come and stay, and we’ve been inundated with people who want to help.”
“We’ll explore the possibility of doing some races over here. Technically we shouldn’t be allowed to do any races over here as we’re entered in Brittany and Melton [CiCLE classic], but considering the circumstances it would be ridiculous if they enforced that. The local US guys are keen for us to do some races.”
Thankfully for Herety, who has nine pro riders in the middle of their season kicking their heels, the days before the Battenkill were such a highlight that morale is still high. “The original trip was fantastic. They had two to three days in New york before Battenkill. They rode round Central Park at six in the morning and we had 100 people following us around.”
“Then they rode around and saw all the sights on their bikes. I’ve never seen them buzzing so much, they’ve been around a bit, but they were all absolutely gobsmacked. It was surprisingly good for cycling.”