Cervélo looks to pioneer development
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Thursday, August 28, 2008

Cervélo looks to pioneer development

by Steve Jones at 10:14 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
 

High-end bike manufacturer Cervélo has announced it will be creating a new model for equipment development in the form of their TestTeam initiative.  Johan Bruyneel and Lance Armstrong proved the advantage of providing feedback to manufacturers Trek, Giro, and HED by winning seven consecutive Tours de France.  Cervélo intends to take that a step further by creating a team for that sole purpose.

What this means is that it will be severing it's long time relationship with the successful Bjarne Riis CSC-Saxo Bank outfit. Cervélo will not be alone with this endeavor, it will be joined by Zipp, Speedplay, Vittoria and 3T - all leading manufacturers of cycling gear.

“We are proud to have played an important part in taking Team CSC from fourteenth to first in the team world ranking and in Carlos Sastre’s Tour de France victory,” said Gerard Vroomen, co-founder of Cervélo on the company's website. “It was the dedication to excellence by both the equipment sponsors and the team that made it happen. Most of all we appreciate the confidence Bjarne Riis had in us back in 2002 and thank him for these past six years. The financial realities of pro cycling today have caused a change in priorities for the team, and we respect that. Our main reason to work with a team is to develop new products, and how better to accomplish that than by owning the team.”

The company insists that the new squad will be out for results, but wants to make its riders more accessible to the cycling fans. While it will be a tall order to match the roster and work ethic Riis has become famous for, having a team that mingles with the fans could prove to be a unique form of brand loyalty. There is a four-year commitment of funds for the new team which will bring the stability necessary to bring in the big names. The core roster is expected to be named in the next several weeks.

The Cervélo TestTeam will be managed by Cycling United Racing out of Switzerland who currently manages the Cervélo-Lifeforce professional women’s team. “As a partner of the women’s team, we have seen their very high level of professionalism and their impressive results,” said Andy Ording, President of Zipp. “So it was a natural decision to use the current platform and reinforce it with additional staff.”

Cervélo TestTeam is a working title and will likely change once the team secures a title sponsor. It has been reported that several companies have expressed an interest in becoming a major sponsor, which will likely influence the team name.

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