Cervelo co-founder Gerard Vroomen has expressed disappointment – and hope – at the premature demise of the Cervelo Team Team after the squad failed to find additional sponsorship to help fund the 2011 season.
Writing on his blog, Vroomen gave a personal account of his feelings after reflecting on the demise of the team that included Carlos Sastre, Thor Hushovd, Heinrich Haussler and British riders Daniel Lloyd, Roger Hammond and Jeremy Hunt.
“On the one hand it certainly feels as a failure – after all, our goal was to find a secondary sponsor so we could continue and although it looked good, it didn’t happen in the end,” wrote Vroomen.
“On the other hand, there is a silver lining and I feel very positive about the future.”
A number of former Cervelo riders have found a home at the amalgamated Garmin-Cervelo squad, which just completed its first rider get-together in the Cayman Islands last week. The team is headed up by ex-pro Jonathan Vaughters and includes the cream of both the Garmin-Transitions and Cervelo teams from 2010 to form a strong squad ahead of the 2011 season.
“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 Cervelo.”
Vroomen started the Cervelo Test Team for the 2009 season, where the squad rode as a Professional Continental rather than ProTour-level outfit. The idea of the team wasn’t as a ‘winning machine’, as Vroomen puts it, but rather a testbed for the Canadian bicycle manufacturer. Previously, Cervelo had supplied bikes to Bjarne Riis’s CSC team.
The wins did come, though, and the squad quickly built up a large fanbase thanks to a mix of the popularity of its riders and stylish team kit.
Vroomen stated that of the 85 former Cervelo team employees – riders, management and backroom staff – only four had so far failed to find a home for 2011.
“I’m quite happy with that, as many were worried that this would be very difficult,” said Vroomen.
“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.”
Garmin-Cervelo are one of 18 UCI appointed ProTeams for the 2011 season, and will debut at the Tour Down Under in Australia in January.