Fernando Alonso's manager Luis Garcia Abad has reportedly formally requested a WorldTour licence for the F1 driver's new team.
If the licence is granted it doesn't necessarily mean Alonso's team will be created but there is a good chance that they will be able to set the team up as soon as possible.
Garcia Abad has said that he is meeting with the UCI later on this month to discuss further plans but he has admitted that he can't attempt to sign riders until October.
According to Cycling News, Garcia Abad said: “I can’t contract anybody until October 1st because it would be illegal to do so. We have not spoken officially with any rider.
“If you touch the ball with your hand when you’re in front of the goalmouth, that’s a penalty. I can’t contract anybody because I’m not formally registered as a team, I would be carrying out an illegal act.”
Pro Continental option
Garcia Abad hopes the team will be registered as a WorldTour squad but if they can't attract the best riders they could be registered as a Pro Continental team.
“It’s not a problem of whether we consider one thing or another, it’s the way the rules are. If you have the riders and you have enough points to be in the first division [WorldTour] you will be, if not then you’re in ProContinental.”
It has always been well known that Alonso has had a keen interest in cycling but it wasn't until last year that he announced he wanted to create his own team. There were rumours that he was going to buy out the Euskaltel-Euskadi team but it now looks like he will set up his own team.
Contador link up?
Alonso is a good friend of Alberto Contador but it is unlikely the Tinkoff-Saxo team leader will join the Spaniard's new team unless they could attract other top riders.
There were rumours that Peter Sagan was thinking of signing of the new team but he has recently joined Contador at Tinkoff-Saxo and with Garcia Abad not being able to negotiate with any riders it is unlikely Sagan was ever contacted.
If Alonso's team is created there will probably be a lot of money behind them so big riders could be persuaded to join as they will have the money to pay for their wages but the question still remains whether they will be a WorldTour team or a ProContinental. If they fail to become a WorldTour team they won't be able to sign the best riders.