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Two ex-Zaaf riders are being prevented from racing for new teams at next week’s Vuelta Femenina, despite quitting the Spanish squad earlier this month.
According to a report by journalist Charles Marsault for the cycling website Velo-Club, both Michaela Drummond and Debora Silvestri have been blocked by the Spanish federation (RFEC) in their attempt to make a mid-season transfer away from the former Continental squad.
It means that they won’t be able to compete at the Vuelta Femenina next week, while other former Zaaf riders are able to race as their contracts are not under the purview of the Spanish Federation.
- UCI revokes Zaaf Continental license after eight riders quit team in one month
- Eighth rider quits Zaaf, team drops below UCI minimum roster size
- UCI keeping embattled squad Zaaf under ‘daily’ monitoring amidst financial concerns
Drummond confirmed the report on her social media, saying that she hoped that she hoped to be racing again in the near future.
“Unfortunately, this is true. Once again sidelined… while others keep racing,” Drummond wrote in response to a tweet. “I hope for a resolution very soon.”
VeloNews has contacted the RFEC for comment Sunday and is waiting for a response.
Unfortunately this is true 😔 once again sidelined… while others keep racing https://t.co/RiYfuQRmGt
— Michaela Drummond (@Micky_Drummond) April 29, 2023
A large swath of riders quit the Zaaf team in recent weeks amidst accusations that the team had not paid its riders for the opening months of the season. Riders registered with a team for the current season are usually barred from signing with another squad prior to June 1, but the UCI announced in early April that it would make an exemption for riders with extenuating circumstances.
A total of nine riders have confirmed their departure with the squad with six, including Drummond, confirmed with new teams. Silvestri announced her departure from Zaaf this weekend but is yet to officially announce a new squad — though she is rumored to have signed for a Spanish Continental team.
The exodus of riders left Zaaf without enough riders to fulfill the UCI’s requirements for a Continental license and this week saw the governing body revoke its license. While the team no longer holds a Continental license, it can still compete as a club side and remains registered with the Spanish federation.
Continental squads are overseen by their respective national federations, which can reject a contract between a rider and team for a range of reasons.
While Drummond and Silvestri are reportedly being barred from racing with their new teams, another former Zaaf rider, Lizzie Stannard, raced with Israel Premier-Tech for the first time this week at the reVolta one-day race and is set to start at the Vuelta Femenina.
Zaaf had been due to ride the Vuelta Femenina next week, but it declined its invitation just days before the UCI revoked its Continental license.