Canadian bicycle manufacturer Cervelo confirmed on Thursday evening that it will not continue as title sponsor of a professional cycling team after the 2010 season, citing financial reasons.
Strong rumours had been circulating all week regarding the future of the squad after several of the Professional Continental team’s top riders had either signed with rival squads for 2011 (Carlos Sastre), or were reported to be seeking new contracts elsewhere (Thor Hushovd, Heinrich Haussler).
The brief statement issued on Cervelo’s website read:
Cervélo confirmed today that it would not continue as a cycling team title sponsor after the end of the 2010 season.
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. We were okay with the significant commitment we originally made to the team, but to increase it is not prudent.
To create the best opportunities for riders, staff, sponsors and other stakeholders, a bigger team environment is needed. At the same time, the very positive response to a focus on “more than just racing” has been great.
We look forward to continued involvement in pro cycling at the highest level with an emphasis on product R&D, as we have since 2003. To that end, we will announce the details soon.
It is highly likely that Cervelo will continue its involvement in professional cycling as an equipment sponsor of a ProTour-level team – and possibly as co-title sponsor. Cycling Weekly has learned of a possible merger between Cervelo and the US-based Garmin-Transitions team which would ride under the Garmin-Cervelo banner.