Major shakeups inside Mitchelton-Scott –

Major shakeups inside Mitchelton-Scott –

There are more shakeups behind the scenes at Mitchelton-Scott.

La Gazzetta dello Sport reported late Tuesday that the team’s long-running general manager Shayne Bannan will leave the team he helped found in 2012, with Bahrain-McLaren’s Brent Copeland coming on. Alvaro Crespi, another Bannan associate, is also out, with Darach McQuaid, organizer of the 2014 Giro d’Italia “big start” in Belfast, also set to join the Australian outfit. Sources confirmed to VeloNews that an official announcement is expected Wednesday.

According to the Italian daily, team owner Ryan relayed a message to team staffers Tuesday that the on-and-off merger with Spain’s Manuela Fundación is definitely off the table. Last week, the team issued a public statement saying Ryan was stepping away from of a tentative deal hammered out by Bannan and Crespi.

Ryan reportedly turned down an offer worth 10 million euros from the Spanish foundation to take over the team’s infrastructure and WorldTour license. Representatives of the Spanish foundation, including ex-pro Stefano Garzelli, insisted they agreed to a deal with Bannan with signed contracts to buy out a holding company that managed the team’s assets.

Earlier this month, the Manuela Fundación announced it would take over sponsorship naming rights for the Australian team for the remainder of 2020, and have the team race in its new colors at the Vuelta a Burgos in late July. Ryan, however, insisted that he still controlled the team’s WorldTour license, and later stepped away from the deal as it appeared there was confusion on both sides of the agreement.

Manuela Fundación representatives told Ciclo.21 that it might pursue mergers with other existing WorldTour teams — CCC Team is currently in the hunt for a new title sponsor and Astana is also struggling — or create a new organization at the second-tier level to begin racing in 2021.

The news Tuesday means that Mitchelton-Scott will remain firmly in Australian hands, at least for the time being.

The team is slated to return to racing at the Burgos tour, with its Mitchelton-Scott colors remaining in place on the team cars and riders’ jerseys.