GT Krush RebelLease forced to close after six years

Biehler Krush Pro Cycling kijkt uit naar NK Wielrennen

GT Krush RebelLease, known for nurturing Dutch cycling talent, will be closing at the end of the season due to rising costs and a lack of financial resources. The organisation announced that it could no longer sustain its operations and would be ceasing all activities.

The team confirmed it will complete the current season as planned, including participating in the Baloise Ladies Tour and the Simac Ladies Tour. Riders have been informed and are now seeking opportunities with other teams.

While both Demi Vollering and Lorena Wiebes were never officially part of Talent Cycling, they did wear the kit of its predecessor, SwaboLadies. Wiebes rode as a junior in 2017, and Vollering followed a year later as an elite rider. Vollering’s strong performances with the club team were instrumental in her move to the continental level. The current team emerged from SwaboLadies in 2019 with the intention of creating a long-term development structure.

The project has produced several WorldTour riders, including Maike van der Duin, an Olympic track cycling medal hopeful, Quinty Ton, Teuntje Beekhuis, and Daniek Hengeveld. Recently, Femke de Vries transitioned to Visma | Lease a Bike, and Swedish rider Nathalie Eklund is also competing at the highest level at Roland. Young talent Silje Bader is rumoured to already have been signed by dsm-Firmenich PostNL this year.

A recent members’ meeting revealed the news to riders from the continental team and various development squads. “Some members have requested a restart without a continental UCI team, which will be explored in the coming weeks,” stated the board. However, the outlook for the continental squad is grim unless a sponsor emerges at the last minute.

In a communiqué, GT Krush RebelLease explained: “In discussions with potential sponsors, we found that investing in a development pathway linked to a UCI pro team isn’t always the right narrative. While many are enthusiastic about our ambition to advance women’s road cycling, they often decide it’s too risky to partner with us. Additionally, several current partners have indicated they can no longer commit to the project. This is a significant setback rather than progress.”

The team expressed concern over the lack of development fees, saying: “When a rider is ready to move up, she leaves us. That’s how it works, and we give them the space to do so. Unfortunately, we don’t receive compensation from other teams for these riders, which remains unusual. This certainly doesn’t help with our continuity issues, making us worry about the future of Dutch women’s cycling.”

Contrary to what the team says, a new rule established in June 2023 stipulates that when a new professional joins a UCI Women’s WorldTeam for the first time, a training compensation fee is due to all teams involved in the rider’s training from the age of fifteen. The fee, calculated at a flat rate of €500 per year, is paid by the WorldTeam to the National Federation, which then distributes it to the clubs and teams that developed the rider.

“We are all very saddened that the entire concept is coming to an end,” the board concluded. “We’ve competed in fantastic races and watched both current and former riders and staff grow. We should be proud of the many successful careers we helped launch, including a Tour victory and hopefully several Olympic medals.”

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