It’s clearly been a busy 24 hours for the respective managements of Garmin-Transitions and the Canadian bike brand Cervélo. After yesterday evening’s announcement that by Cervélo that it’s men’s squad was being dissolved at the end of the season, and this afternoon’s confirmation by Slipstream Sports that its Garmin-Transitions team would swap Felt bikes for Cervélo for the 2011 season, this evening they have announced that the new team for the 2011 season will be called Garmin-Cervélo.
The announcement also clarifies the future of the Cervélo TestTeam women’s squad, which includes the British stars Emma Pooley and Lizzie Armistead, and supporters of women’s cycling active on the social networking site Twitter have been quick to applaud the speed with which uncertainty over the squad’s future has been removed. The Garmin-Cervélo set-up will also include a men’s under-23 squad.
Jonathan Vaughters, CEO of Slipstream Sports and Director Sportif of Team Garmin-Transitions commented: "Slipstream Sports and Cervélo share the key philosophies of developing the next generation of cycling champions and an unwavering commitment to ethical sport."
He continued: "We are happy to work with another company that, like Garmin, so closely shares our goals. We will be adding great talent to an already outstanding roster and we believe the new team will build on past successes and will produce incredibly exciting racing in 2011. The possibilities are endless - on the road and off - and we look forward to what we can achieve."
Phil White, co-founder of Cervélo with Gerard Vroomen, said: "As we have often mentioned, our primary goal has always been to have some control over the direction that cycling will take. With Slipstream Sports, we share common goals and values. Together we will be in a stronger position to keep moving the sport forward."
Slipstream Sports’ existing anti-doping programme will continue under Team Garmin-Cervelo, and Vaughters sees the two teams as complementing each other on the road, which he will be hoping will enable it to challenge throughout the season in both one day races, including the Spring Classics, and the Grand Tours.
"The fit is a natural one," he explained. "We've wanted to become stronger in the Classics and we're confident that we'll come into 2011 with one of the strongest Classics line-ups in the peloton. Beyond that, we are extremely excited to create a very good women's program."
White added: "In our eight years in pro cycling, we have seen the many possibilities cycling offers. The very positive response to a focus on more than just racing has been great. The emphasis we have had on product R&D since 2003 will be integrated into the new team's routine as well.”
It is expected that Transitions Optical will continue to sponsor the team, becoming Official Lens Supplier, although its name is disappearing from the title.
There’s no word as yet as to who will race for the Garmin-Cervélo men’s squad next year, with the team saying that “more information, including official team rosters, will become available in the October timeframe” – some time after the World Championships, we’d imagine.
There have been rumours that the Cervélo TestTeam quartet of Heinrich Haussler, Thor Hushovd, Roger Hammond and Andreas Klier will be moving across to the new squad, while Carlos Sastre has already announced he is off to pastures new in the shape of Geox, as Footon-Servetto is being renamed.
But two into one doesn’t go, and it’s clear there’s going to be a lot of riders – mainly from Cervélo TestTeam, but no doubt some from Garmin-Transitions too – who will have been on the phone to their agents trying to secure a ride for next season.
Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.