Vroomen says almost all of the Cervélo Test Team have found new roles
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Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Vroomen says almost all of the Cervélo Test Team have found new roles

by Conal Andrews at 7:33 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
 
Sad to see project end, but encouraged by Garmin-Cervélo beginnings

Cervelo Test TeamCervélo co-founder Gerard Vroomen has said that almost all of those employed by the Cervélo Test Team have been able to secure jobs for 2011, thus allaying fears that the team’s sudden stop would lead to major problems.

“As of this moment, 81 of 85 people on the Cervelo TestTeam have found new opportunities. That includes all 14 riders who were under contract for 2011, plus most of the riders and staff not under contract,” he reported on his online blog. “I'm quite happy with that, as many were worried that this would be very difficult. The riders, staff and management have done a great job to help each other find something for next year. Of course the work isn't done until the final four have also found something.” He also added that many of the sponsors had also found slots elsewhere, many with Garmin.

Vroomen and co-founder Phil White were two of the main forces behind setting up the team, which signed big names such as then-Tour de France winner Carlos Sastre and Thor Hushovd in 2008 and then made its debut in January 2009. It had a very successful first season, peaking with stage wins by Hushovd and Heinrich Haussler in the Tour de France, the Maillot Vert for Hushovd, and two stage wins by Sastre in the Giro d’Italia.

It was also successful this season, although injuries to Haussler and Hushvod took the edge off their form and cut back on the scale of the victories. The team was expected to continue beyond the end of the season, but was unable to secure the necessary backing. This is something that Vroomen regrets.

“On the one hand it certainly feels as a failure - after all, our goal was to find a secondary sponsor so we could continue,” he admitted. “Although it looked good, it didn't happen in the end. On the other hand, there is a silver lining and I feel very positive about the future. Not only with regards to our participation in pro cycling, but also regarding our new R-series, our distribution, the simplification of our operations, everything is pointing in the right direction now.”

Seven riders from the team are heading across to the Garmin squad for 2011, which will be renamed Garmin-Cervélo as the bike manufacturer is also becoming a partner. Hushovd and Haussler have signed for Jonathan Vaughters’s squad, and so too Roger Hammond, Dan Lloyd, Andreas Klier, Brett Lancaster and Gabriel Rasch.

They were present at last week’s first team get-together in the Cayman Islands, which Vroomen said left him with mixed feelings. He said that fact that it was the last time for those to wear the Cervélo Test Team jerseys together made it a ‘sad moment’, but he also took positives from it.

“Maybe most importantly, our spirit will live on. It was amazing to see that the Garmin team, without any prompting from us, suggested to honour some of the things initiated by Cervélo,” he stated. “Obviously we are happy when any team does that, whether we are associated with them or not. After all we weren't looking to protect any of our ideas in the past two years; we wanted them to spread. It's nice to see when that actually happens.”

Vroomen didn’t elaborate on what he was referring to but said that he would return to the subject at some point in the future, explaining which elements will continue on.

One thing that he did state will remain is the extensive product testing and feedback carried out by the riders with the bike manufacturer. The second which is known to be in place for 2011 is the women’s team, which will see Emma Pooley and several others travel across from the Cervélo Test Team women’s squad and race under the Garmin-Cervélo title.

It will be the first time that Vaughters has had a women’s team and, like the men’s squad, should challenge for some very big wins in 2011.

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