The team formerly known as Gazprom-RusVelo has announced that it is looking for a new title sponsor.
Last month, cycling's governing body, the UCI, announced that that all Russian and Belarusian teams would not be allowed to partake in UCI-sanctioned races due to the ongoing war in Ukraine.
This curtailed Gazprom-RusVelo's season, with the team last racing in the UAE Tour in February. Since then, the team's 21 riders have been unable to race for the squad, despite 12 of the 21 not being Russian.
The team has rebranded on social media as simply "Professional Cycling Team", and its riders have been training in plain white jerseys since the sanctions came in.
Despite talks with the UCI, the squad has not been able to compete even in their plain white kit due to the rules brought in.
In a statement published on Monday, the team's management said: "We will continue searching for a new title sponsor. Together with a new team partner we will be able to immediately come back to racing under a new name and together decide which country our international team will be representing."
They thanked Gazprom Germania, who was the sponsor of the team since 2016. The company is a subsidiary of the world's largest natural gas company, Gazprom, which is majority-owned by the Russian state.
"It was a successful story of the development of our team," the team said. "Throughout the years, we achieved numerous victories, became highly recognisable in the world of cycling and helped many riders to become professionals. Now it is time to move further."
They made it clear that the team stands for peace, and does not support the war in Ukraine; in fact the statement suggests that the team could help promote peace.
"We are certain that politics should be kept away from sport and sport should be a platform for unity of nations," the statement read. "Cycling and our team, in particular, could be a messenger of peace. We stand for peace in the world and do not support any wars."
In the posts on social media (opens in new tab), the team shared more details about their time in the wilderness of professional cycling.
"On the first of March, the UCI decided to withdraw our team status," the team said. "For everyone in our international team it was shocking news, especially considering the great start of the season with two victories. We were ready to compete in neutral jerseys with no logos and under neutral team status in Trofeo Laigueglia and further races, however, the UCI did not allow us to do so.
"On the third of March we had a meeting with the UCI, where we were assured that our team may come back to racing as soon as we find a new title sponsor.
"For already 10 years the team has been based in Lonato del Garda, Italy, and this year the team roster consisted of 21 athletes from six different countries.
"In these challenging times of searching for a new team title sponsor our riders keep training in neutral jersey and also participate in races with their national teams.
"Alessandro Fedeli was second at thew recent GP Larciano and Mathias Vačeck won a race in the Czech Republic."
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