Cervélo TestTeam readies for 2010 debut
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Monday, February 01, 2010

Cervélo TestTeam readies for 2010 debut

by VeloNation Press at 1:25 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Tour of Qatar
 

This week the Cervélo TestTeam will begin their sophomore year in the peloton and, after a highly successful 2009, much will be expected of the Swiss Pro Continental team. Last year saw the team take home stage wins in each of the Grand Tours, which included Thor Hushovd securing the Tour de France's green jersey competition ahead of HTC-Columbia's Mark Cavendish.

Amongst the team goals for 2010 are defending Hushovd's green jersey title and winning one of the Classics, something that TestTeam's Heinrich Haussler came tantalizingly close to with his second place finishes in Milan Sanremo and the Tour of Flanders. Hushovd also had some near misses in the Spring with a third place result in both Milan Sanremo and Paris-Roubaix.

The men's team will start their 2010 campaign with the French five-day stage race Étoile de Bessèges. Hushovd had planned to begin his season there, but illness has forced the big Norwegian to cancel his trip to southern France. The team will be using the race to size up the competition, and management says they will also be looking for success.

"We are looking forward to starting in Bessèges, as it will be the first race for our team in 2010," said Sports Director Alex Sans Vega. "It will give us the opportunity to check our fitness and strength against the other teams, as some of them have already started their season in the Tour Down Under or G.P. Marseillaise.

"The Étoile de Bessèges is a good race for our riders. It will help them in their preparations, but we will also try to get some results - all of our riders will have the freedom to show themselves at their best at the start of the season."

Another group, that includes the women's TestTeam, will be heading to the Middle East and taking part in the Tour of Qatar. The second edition of the Ladies Tour of Qatar takes place this year, and Dutchwoman Kirsten Wild, the world number two and defending champion, will lead the team in the three-day women's event.

"At the training camp in Portugal, I got my first impression of the team that will participate in Qatar. Based on what I saw in the training camp and the level of our riders, our goal will be winning this fist big event for women this year," said women's Sports Director Egon van Kessel.

Last year the men's TestTeam also had success in Qatar, with British rider Roger Hammond winning a stage, and German Heinrich Haussler and Hammond flanking the podium in second and third overall respectively. The pair will again lead the team.

"It will be very difficult to repeat the excellent result of our first showdown one year ago," explained Sports Director Jens Zemke. "We have two new riders in our Qatar squad, Theo Bos (NED) and Davide Appollonio (ITA); the others all have experience in Qatar. We also want to test our new components and bikes. This race is another big step forward. Our main goal is to prepare our team for a successful spring campaign."

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