Cervelo makes it official: Test Team will not continue
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Thursday, August 26, 2010

Cervelo makes it official: Test Team will not continue

by Jered Gruber at 6:12 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
 
Cervelo issues press release confirming that its team will stop at the end of the season

The rumors hit yesterday that the Cervelo Test Team would fold at the end of the season, and then today, team director sportif, Jean Paul Van Poppel, confirmed the rumors. As the day draws to a close in Europe, the Cervelo Test Team announced officially that the two year project would come to an end.

The company of Gerard Vroomen and Phil White "confirmed today that it would not continue as a cycling team title sponsor after the end of the 2010 season."

The press release cites the ever growing demands placed on a sponsor to race at the ProTour level. With 13 teams vying for 8 coveted ProTour licenses next year, never has there been such a large amount of top rung teams, and for the teams not on the ProTour, never has it been more uncertain for them when it comes to Wild Card selections.

Up to this point, the Cervelo Test Team has had no problems raking in the Wild Card invites, but the loss of Carlos Sastre and the new wave of high-powered, well-funded teams would certainly bring that previously fortunate position into doubt for 2011. Faced with the dilemma - continue at the same level in 2011 and hope for the best, or pull out and return to the original policy of acting as an equipment sponsor for a major team, it looks like Cervelo has opted for the latter.

"Certain subtle changes in the rules that govern pro cycling, have established a trend towards bigger budgets to ensure participation in all the big races, and this is not something with which we are comfortable. We were okay with the significant commitment we originally made to the team, but to increase it is not prudent."

The increasing demands have left Cervelo at a point where the company feels it can not provide the necessary chances for all involved at this level, so the only solution is to step down, according to the press release.

"To create the best opportunities for riders, staff, sponsors and other stakeholders, a bigger team environment is needed. At the same time, the very positive response to a focus on "more than just racing" has been great."

While the Cervelo Test Team will cease to exist as a title sponsor in 2011, it looks highly likely that Cervelo will align with another team for next season as their bike sponsor. The rumors of course point to a merger of sorts with Garmin-Transitions. Shane Stokes reported earlier on the possibilities of a merging with Jonathan Vaughters's Garmin team in 2011 - it would likely include Cervelo taking over as bike sponsor along with the addition of Heinrich Haussler, Thor Hushovd, Andreas Klier, and Roger Hammond. Nothing on this topic was confirmed in the press release though, but that's something that Cervelo promises to rectify soon.

"We look forward to continued involvement in pro cycling at the highest level with an emphasis on product R&D, as we have since 2003. To that end, we will announce the details soon."

No mention was made concerning the fate of the women's professional team in 2011, but earlier reports indicate that the women's team should continue forward into next season.
 

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