A Timeline of Zaaf Cycling's Collapse

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A Timeline of Zaaf Cycling's CollapseTim de Waele - Getty Images

Late last week, Egyptian champion Ebtissam Zaied announced she was leaving the troubled Spanish team. Zaied was the eighth rider to leave the team since news broke that Zaaf was not paying its riders or staff. Her departure left Zaaf with only seven riders, which is below the UCI’s minimum limit to register a Continental team.

On Friday, as many expected, it was announced that the UCI revoked Zaaf’s team license.

Then on Saturday, two days before the start of this week’s La Vuelta Femenina, it was reported on velo-club.net that former Zaaf riders Michaela Drummond and Debora Silvestri would be disallowed from participating in the stage race with their new teams.

It’s been a whirlwind few weeks full of bad news for the riders of Team Zaaf. Thankfully, all of the riders who left the team appear to have found new teams. However, some, like Drummond and Silvestri, are still finding hurdles in their way back to racing.

Below is a timeline, from the original allegations and reports of Zaaf’s failure to pay to yesterday’s start of La Vuelta Femenina, of Zaaf’s ongoing collapse.

March 22

French national champion Audrey Cordon-Ragot leaves Zaaf, submitting her resignation three days after the conclusion of the Tour de Normandie.

March 23

Cyclingnews reported that Zaaf was under investigation by the UCI after allegations that the team failed to pay rider and staff salaries. At that time, the allegations stated the team had gone three months without paying anyone. Cycling News, who also reported on the story, wrote that some Zaaf riders would not start that weekend’s Gent-Wevelgem in protest.

March 24

Reports that the team might be forced to use a bank guarantee in order to pay riders and staff emerged.

April 7

Human Powered Health announced they signed Audrey Cordon-Ragot, who would be racing in that weekend’s Paris-Roubaix thanks to a UCI waiver allowing her to race immediately.

April 13

The UCI announced that Zaaf riders would be permitted to transfer teams immediately, rather than wait for the normal transfer window, which opens on June 1.

April 14

Marielle Meijering and Lizzie Stannard leave Zaaf.

April 17

Michaela Drummond announces her departure.

April 18

Heidi Franz and Maggie Coles-Lyster announce they are both leaving the team.

April 20

Lucie Jounier announces her departure.

April 26

Zaaf pulls out of La Vuelta Femenina. Ebtissam Zaied announces her departure from Zaaf, putting Zaaf under the UCI minimum of eight riders. UCI announces they are putting Zaaf under “daily monitoring.”

April 27

Zaaf loses its Continental team license.

May 1

Former Zaaf riders Michaela Drummond and Debora Silvestri are barred from competing in La Vuelta Femenina by the Spanish Cycling Federation.

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