Team Sapura Cycling hope to progress in professional road cycling by moving up to UCI ProTeam status.
Sapura are currently a continental team — the lowest among three tiers in the road discipline. Earning ProTeam status will allow them to compete in World Tour events.
Sapura team manager Sayuti Zahit believes they are ready to make the leap though he stressed that it is ultimately up to their sponsors Sapura to decide.
“It has been four years since we started (Team Sapura Cycling) and we are keen to move on to the next step,” said Sayuti.
“We are hoping to do so (ProTeam) if we can secure the support from Sapura. We will make a request and discuss it with them. Based on (the capability of) the current management and the riders we have, we are ready to do so.”
In addition to many other requirements, UCI have enforced a minimum salary rule for WorldTeam and ProTeam outfits.
Experienced ProTeam riders must be paid a minimum annual salary of €30,855 (RM138,403) while neo-pro riders, who are under-25 and riding in their first year for a ProTeam, must take home at least €25,806 (RM115,755).
ProTeams must also deposit a bank guarantee amounting to 25 per cent of their team’s annual payroll.
Sapura, who did well in the recent Petronas Le Tour de Langkawi, are currently the top team in the UCI Asia Tour rankings.
New Straits Times, 17 February 2020