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Downgrade for Kiwi-laden UK cycling team

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 23/11/2016

Three New Zealand cyclists could be affected by the downgrade in status of a leading British professional team.

The One Pro Cycling team will compete at the third-tier Continental level next year, having earned promotion to Pro-Continental status in 2016.

The team features three of New Zealand's leading young road professionals - Dion Smith, James Oram and Hayden McCormick.

Team owner Matt Prior, a former England Test cricketer, says the change will result in a reduction to the size of his 20-strong rider roster. Changes are yet to be announced.

Prior says the team, which was formed in 2015, withdrew the application to renew its Pro-Continental licence following the departure of a key bike sponsor.

Prior describes the demotion as a temporary setback and retains the goal of qualifying his team for the elite World Tour.

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