September 23, 2008 (Vancouver, BC) – Mark and Kevin Cunningham announced today that the Rusty Chain Projects Inc, the management company that owns and operates the Symmetrics Cycling team will not be operating a professional cycling team in 2009. “We’ve been searching for a new title sponsor since Christmas. We’ve had some positive discussions and some near misses. But at this time we do not have the right partner in place to move forward with the team in 2009. We are continuing to search for a new title sponsor in hopes of reactivating the team 2010 and beyond. We let our riders know during the Tour of Missouri that we wouldn’t put the team on the road next year.” said Kevin Cunningham.
The Symmetrics Cycling Team has been the most successful cycling team in Canadian cycling history. In the past five years the team won twelve National Championships (Road and TT) – with a staggering 25 Championship medals, won more than 180 races and has been ranked in the top three teams in the UCI America Tour for the past three seasons. This year the team achieved one of its long-term goals of building Olympians-sending Svein Tuft and Zach Bell to the Olympics where they each had remarkable 7th place finishes. Symmetrics showed it wasn’t just building Olympians, but built Olympians who were in the hunt for medals.
“We could put the team on the road again next year,” Kevin Cunningham added. “But we wouldn’t be moving towards our long-term goals. It’s better for us to stop the team while we search for the elusive title sponsor who is the right strategic fit.”
What does this mean for the current riders on the Symmetrics team? “A few have already signed deals,” said Kevin Cunningham. “We’ve built a great team culture. Other teams see it and our guys are pretty desirable. We’ve had to fight off offers from other teams in the past. This year we advised our guys to jump on some of those offers.” Expect announcement for key rider signings in coming days.
“I’ve said it before – we’re like a band of brothers,” Svein Tuft said of his team mates. “There’s nothing I would have wanted more than for us all to continue together. When I stood on the podium in St. Louis at the end of the Tour of Missouri I thought it would be one of the happiest moments of my life. But when I stepped down I was just sad knowing I wouldn’t be with my bros in 2009.”