Garmin-Transitions confirms deal to ride Cervélo bikes for 2011
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Friday, August 27, 2010

Garmin-Transitions confirms deal to ride Cervélo bikes for 2011

by VeloNation Press at 10:44 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
 
Cervélo TestTeam riders and staff scrambling for jobs

Tyler FarrarAmidst much speculation, the Garmin-Transitions team announced today that it will be riding Cervélo bikes for the 2011 season.  Yesterday VeloNation confirmed with one of the rider's managers, Andrew McQuaid of Azzurisports, that the bicycle company's TestTeam would not continue for next year, a fact that was also confirmed by the team later that evening.

Garmin said the team would release more details as the become available, but there have been confirmed negotiations with Thor Hushovd, and the squad is rumored to be in talks with the Classics riders Heinrich Haussler, Andreas Klier and Roger Hammond.

Slipstream Sports, who owns the Garmin-Transitions team, said that they had discussions with Felt Bicycles prior to the announcement, and the company had decided to end its sponsorship with the team.

The team said in a release: “Felt has been an invaluable partner since the inception of our organization and is truly an exceptional company. Together we achieved quite a bit and we have a tremendous amount of respect and gratitude for the contributions and innovations they have made to our team, organization and to cycling as a whole.”

Felt said the decision to part ways was the best solution: “Our organizations met in good faith to discuss an extension.  After exploring all options, we decided for the good of all parties to move on. We have enjoyed great success over the course of our four-year relationship and we wish the team and its athletes continued success in the future. Felt remains committed to the sport of bicycle racing and the ideal that accompanies professional cycling.  Rest assured we will continue to support elite teams and athletes in the future.”

Cervélo TestTeam members will now be forced to find contracts for the 2011 season at a time when many teams are winding down their negotiations for next year.  The new team from Luxembourg with Andy and Frank Schleck, as well as the two Australian teams looking to gain ProTour status, could help minimize the fallout caused by the late notice, but there will still likely be several casualties.

The Cervélo press release yesterday cited the ever growing demands placed on a sponsor to race at the ProTour level. Currently there are 13 teams in the running for the 8 available ProTour licenses next year, and the current talent pool in cycling means the competition will be tougher than ever before.  The team originally started out as a Pro Continental squad, but now with Wild Card selections increasingly hard to come by, they decided the best decision was to stop.

"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," the Cervélo team explained.  "We were okay with the significant commitment we originally made to the team, but to increase it is not prudent."

There has been no mention 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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