The management Pure Black, the cycling team that launched in 2010 with the aim of becoming the first from New Zealand to be granted a UCI ProTour licence, have officially confirmed that the team is in financial difficulties and may face closure. The outfit was developed from Bici Vida, a team built around a core of promising young riders who scored excellent results in Under-23 competitions, and had a very successful 2011 season.
Reasons for the team's demise have been given as problems finding funding during the Rugby World Cup and in the wake of the Christchurch earthquake. "This weekend we have had to tell our team that we don't have the funding in place to commit to our planned next step in 2012 at this stage and ultimately this could mean our most exciting road cycling talent will continue to be lost offshore," says manager Greg Cross.
Team members have been told they are free to seek contracts elsewhere. Tim Gudsell revealed his dismay vie Twitter: "Still can't quite believe I no longer have a job for next year. Anyone know of anything out there?"