It is as if the professional peloton is engaged in a game of musical saddles at the moment.
Today, Belgian manufacturer Ridley announced it would be ending its four-year relationship with the Silence-Lotto squad and will supply the bicycles for the Russian superteam Katusha next season. They will be riding Ridley?s Dean and Noah models, with the groupset supplier yet to be confirmed.
Katusha, which is evolving from the Tinkoff set-up, has had a huge injection of funding reported to be in the region of 30 million euros. They have already signed Robbie McEwen and Filippo Pozzato, and are set to clinch Vladimir Karpets. British Cycling Academy rider Ben Swift is also rumoured to be on the Katusha shopping list.
And the rumour is that Cadel Evans and his Silence-Lotto team-mates will be on Museeuw bikes for 2009, although that is yet to be confirmed.
That is only one of the changes in the professional peloton for 2009 as the jostling to supply the biggest teams in the world with bikes continues.
MUSICAL SADDLES ? CONFIRMED EQUIPMENT CHANGES
Deal with Giant has expired. Mark Cavendish and co will be on Scott bikes next year. They will be riding Addict Ltd, which is named in the 2009 brochure as the official bike for the Columbia team.
Switching from Colnago to German-made Focus. The team seems to be becoming more German all the time, picking up some riders from the Gerolsteiner team and switching to a German bike.
CSC give way to Saxo Bank as title sponsor, with Cervélo?s fruitful relationship with Riis Cycling also ending. Specialized has got the gig to supply the Schlecks and the rest with bikes and shoes. No news on other equipment or wheel sponsors yet. It?s likely they will get the choice of Tarmac SL2 and Roubaix for the road with the Transition for time trials. There could be less choice than with Cervélo, which offered R3, R3 SL, RS Soloist, SLC-SL and P3C.
Cervélo is venturing into team title sponsorship and could even recruit Tour de France champion Carlos Sastre.
The Dutch squad have had a long relationship with Colnago but are set to be on Giant bikes. They have ridden Colnago since the team started as Kwantum in the 1980s.
Thinking of this squad on anything other than Pinarello (the relationship stretches back to the Banesto-Miguel Indurain days) seems wrong, but rumours are flying that Look will be supplying the team. Look has lost Crédit Agricole and Caisse d?Epargne, though a heavily Spanish-influenced squad, is actually a French company so it?s a logical fit
Four-year relationship with Ridley ends. Will Museeuw step in?
Currently on De Rosa, but Colnago are interested
Scott are switching to Team Columbia leaving Mauro Gianetti?s ex-Saunier Duval mob without a title sponsor or bikes. Oh well.
STAYING THE SAME