UCI reveals it has refused Qhubeka-NextHash's WorldTour licence for 2022

The South African team has struggled with financial issues for the last few years

Qhubeka-NextHash
(Image credit: Getty Images)

The UCI has confirmed that it has refused Qhubeka-NextHash's 2022 WorldTour licence.

Cycling's governing body had already extended the deadline to try and allow the team's manager, Doug Ryder, time to try and find a new sponsor.

But the UCI has decided it has waited long enough as it has announced the WorldTour teams for the 2022 season with Qhubeka-NextHash not in the list.

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In a statement the UCI said: "After hearing teams that had not been able to be registered directly by the UCI, the Licence Commission has decided (art. 2.15.071) to refuse the registration of Team Qhubeka NextHash."

This is a potentially killer blow to any hopes the team had about continuing in 2022 with the only option now being the lower divisions of the sport.

In a Tweet the team said: "We have noted the UCI's press release today in which we have been refused the registration of a WorldTour licence for 2022. 

"We remain committed to our purpose of changing lives through bicycles. 

"We will be making no further comment at this stage."

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The team currently still has five riders contracted with the team for next season with Simon Clarke, Henok Mulubrhan, Sergio Henao, Sean Bennett and Connor Brown all on the books.

Meanwhile, in a recent interview Domenico Pozzovivo announced that he would likely retire if the team folded and he couldn't find a team in the WorldTour of higher end of the second division. 

The sponsorship issues should not have happened when crypto currency company NextHash joined the team along with Burberry just before the Tour de France.

NextHash reportedly joined on an amazing five year deal but as the year went on the sponsorship seemed to unravel.

August came and the team were unable to pay any of their riders or staff on time with one sponsor confirming that the team asked for the final sponsorship payments to keep them going.

This also triggered the higher profile riders, such as Giacomo Nizzolo and Victor Campenaerts to look elsewhere with both moving to Israel Start-Up Nation and Lotto-Soudal respectively.

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