According to rumours circulating in Belgium and Spain, bike manufacturer Cervelo could be about to create its own professional team in 2009, with Tour de France winner Carlos Sastre the possible team leader.
Cervelo has supplied Bjarne Riis? CSC team with bikes for six years but Riis is reported to be in talks with another major bike companies for 2009 and so Cervelo decided to create their own team with a group of other minor sponsors.
According to reports published in Spain and Belgium the Cervelo team would be registered in Switzerland and be a professional continental level team with approximately 20 riders.
The Cervelo bike company is based in Canada and owned by Gerard Vroomen and Phil White. Vroomen now lives in Switzerland and the controlling company is registered in Switzerland. If the new team is created it would be the first high profile Swiss registered team since the demise of the Phonak team following Floyd Landis? positive for testosterone in the 2006 Tour de France. Cervelo already sponsor the women?s Cervelo-Lifeforce team that is based in Switzerland and managed by Thomas Campana.
Sastre is rumoured to be team leader and the 33 year-old Spaniard is likely to bring several Spanish riders to the team. Dutch riders are also rumoured to be in the line-up with German riders and directeur sportif Christian Henn joining from the Gerolsteiner team.
The team would apparently aim for a place in the Tour de France and Vuelta Espana and also target the spring classics.
CSC-Saxo Bank refused to comment on the rumours that they could lose their long-term bike sponsor and leading rider but admitted it is natural that Sastre is at the centre of transfer market after winning the Tour de France and still not having signed a contract. Cervelo?s Gerard Vroomen did not answer phone calls or respond to emails when Cycling Weekly tried to contact about the new professional team.