Since BCX folded at the end of last year and Vandergroup Continental failed to happen, the trio, nicknamed “The Three Musketeers”, have had to re-evaluate their situation.
The three riders have developed a strong bond, having been part of the same team for the past several years.
As a result they have decided to work together in an attempt to bring their own joint plans to fruition.
“At the moment we have got just about nothing,” Maree told In the Bunch today. “The three of us want to stick together and continue what we’re doing.
“Our goal is to grow something for ourselves now, not by relying too much on other people but by taking our careers into our own hands.”
Maree said they were in the early stages of starting a sports management company called DNS Sports.
DNS could stand for Did Not Start, which Maree jokingly explained referred to how their former team failed to get off the ground.
The abbreviation actually uses the first letters of each of their names and Maree said they would each take up the roles of manager and rider within the association.
“The three of us will be looking to secure our own sponsorships. That’s our focus,” Maree said.
“We want to make it slightly easier for sponsors to give to the sport by making it cheaper.
“A bigger team, for instance, would need a full-time manager, owner, technical support staff and then the riders. You would need a lot of money for that.
“We just want to cut it down to the bare minimum, while still being able to secure the same results we did last year. We aim to do a lot more with a lot less.”
Regarding their immediate plans, Maree said their focus was just to be able to get to races, secure accommodation and take part.
He said some smaller companies had already shown interest in supporting them, which could sustain them for their short-term objectives.
“It’s really difficult if you have to pay your own race entries,” Maree said. “Fortunately some races have already given us entries and provided us with accommodation.
“It’s just about who is willing to assist us to do races. It would be a crying shame if Nolan can’t do the Cape Town Cycle Tour.
“It can’t be good for the sport if the three-time winner can’t take part [due to financial constraints].”
In the long term Maree said they hoped to secure a “big-fish sponsor”.
They planned to approach certain business entities from next week and submit presentations to create brand awareness.
“We are obviously waiting for a bigger sponsor to help us, and for us to help them.
“We’re in a little bit of need but we’re going to stick this out together and find a good sponsor we can work with to grow our and their brand.
“I believe the only way to achieve that is through people we know; through connections.”
The 29-year-old said their long-term plans were to possibly create a developmental team where youngsters came on board, thereby hopefully creating “some Louis Meintjes and Daryl Impeys along the way”.
All three riders are set to take part in the Ride for Sight in Boksburg this weekend, where Maree expects to play a supporting role to Van Heerden and Hoffman.
They will ride in an exclusively designed kit with their logo on it, which will be replaced by that of a title sponsor once secured.