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Fernando Alonso's cycling team won't debut in 2015, admits Paolo Bettini

Italian recruited to manage proposed outfit says he'd like to remain involved if project revived...

Paolo Bettini says that Formula 1 Racing driver Fernando Alonso’s dream of launching his own cycling team has been put on hold for now.

Bettini, the former world champion cyclist and Italian national coach recruited as manager of the proposed team admits there is no prospect a team being ready for the 2015 season.

In an email seen by the website, however, the Italian said he did not know if the project might be revived in the future, reports

He said: "Unfortunately, the Alonso project has been put completely on hold for reasons that I cannot elaborate on. I still don't know about the intentions for the future."

Alonso has spoken of his wish to become involved in professional cycling through his own team for nearly five years now, and last year was reported to be trying to buy the licence of the Euskadi-Euskaltel team.

When that deal reached a dead end, he said that he aimed to unveil his team at this year’s Tour de France, though as it turned out his plans had not yet been finalised.

In a statement released at the start of October, Alonso said he had secured backing from a company called NOVO Group Holdings “to acquire a portfolio of assets” related to cycling, without specifying what those might be.

By that time, however, the proposed team had missed the deadlines to apply for either a UCI WorldTour or UCI Professional Continental licence for next season.

Moreover, the uncertainty surrounding whether or not the outfit would be ready is also likely to have deterred some of the riders it was trying to recruit, with Alsonso previously having been linked to the likes of Edvald Boassan Hagen and Peter Sagan.

Bettini added that should the project be revived, he would like to play a part in it.

He said: "If the decision is taken to try to create a team, it will be a pleasure to be dedicated to the project and to use all my experience to the good of the riders."

Simon joined as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.

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