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Team owner Chris White heads to the Vuelta in pursuit of Cervelo riders
Chris White, the owner of the hopeful Australian ProTour team, has revealed that he hopes to sign Heinrich Haussler, Brett Lancaster and Thor Hushovd.
Following the announcement of the demise of the Cervelo TestTeam, all three riders could move to the Garmin-Cervelo team for 2011 but are also believed to be considering other options. White would like to sign them as he works on building the first ever Australian ProTour team.
"With what has happened at Cervelo TestTeam, there is a really unique opportunity for some of those guys to create a legacy by being a part of Australia's first ProTour team," Pegasus Racing owner Chris White told the Sydney Morning Herald newspaper.
"And what better way than to have a great Australian rider like Heinrich Haussler, or Brett Lancaster for that matter, with the international riders. It would be the perfect storm in terms of what great Australian talent is available out there for Australia's first ProTour team.”
White is also keen to get Hushovd and will be at the start of the Vuelta in Seville to speak to his agent. "He could be our Australian Viking," he said.
"I want riders. I want Australian riders and I want good riders. These guys would fit really well. We have a great core of riders we have been working with. We have UCI support for an Australian ProTour team but we need to fulfil requirements. One of the key parts of that is having the right riders."
White claims he has a US sponsor in place to back the team, with reports of $12.5 million budget. He is currently applying for a ProTour licence with the UCI and says he has already signed 10 riders, one of whom is current Garmin-Transitions rider Trent Lowe.
White also revealed that team clothing and bikes are likely to be decorated with indigenous Australian art work and the team will hold a get-together in the Australian outback rather than a boot camp in Europe.
''We are going to be at least 50 per cent Australian in terms of roster,'' White said. ''And the heart and soul of the team is from Australia. All the drive and corporate entity is Australian. We will be distinctly Australian.''
''It will be great for the Australians in the squad and the Europeans too,'' he adds. ''We will have a real feeling for the message we want to push.''