Andy Shen of VelocityNation claimed that “Rock Racing is folding ASAP. Rock and Republic is laying off 40 employees, and shutting down the cycling team immediately.” Shen went on to state that he got the information from a leaked internal memo.
updated: Velonews confirmed that “an email circulated within the company this week details layoffs within the luxury jean company as well as the cycling team.” A Rock Racing team spokesperson confirmed the layoffs both on the clothing and racing sides of the business but could not elaborate as to the impact to the cycling team as he was trying to reach CEO Michael Ball. Rahsaan Bahati’s agent acknowledged that communication with the team has been spotty recently.
As a reminder, Rock Racing has signed 25 riders for the 2009 season, and brought in two new DS, Rudy Pevenage and Laurenzo Lapage. One hopes that the staff will not hear the news via the media which is exactly how riders were informed that they were off the UCI team and moved to the club team to meet UCI rules regarding Continental teams, only last week .
final word: Is Rock Racing folding? a big NO is the answer, as per the official answer from Rock Racing:
“Rock Racing will continue to race in 2009. Tyler Hamilton, Rahsaan Bahati and Justin Williams will defend their U.S. national titles. More important information about the team’s plans will follow. We appreciate your interest and continued support of Rock Racing.”
Does this mean that Bahati is now part of the UCI team? But the team also annouced two new riders to the UCI team David Martin Velasco of Spain and Aaron Kemps of Australia. What is going on? Where’s the rest of the story?
Is the roster being downsized? Also, what does this mean for the masters team that Ball was building and rumored to race with?