Garmin-Transitions has confirmed that Cervélo will supply bikes to the team for the 2011 season. Since the announcement of the demise of Cervélo TestTeam earlier this week, there had been widespread speculation that the Canadian bike manufacturer would remain in the professional peloton with Garmin-Transitions.
It has yet to be confirmed whether riders from Cervélo TestTeam will be joining Garmin-Transitions as part of the arrangement. A statement from the Slipstream Sports organisation behind the team said that Garmin-Transitions “will join forces with Cervélo for 2011.” Cyclingnews spoke to Garmin-Transitions boss Jonathan Vaughters who elaborated on why the two teams will work together. “Because of that stable background we’re going to be able to build the best team in the world," he said.
“This gives our team long term stability and a long term and meaningful partner. This leads us to be an internationally recognised team that can dominate from February to October and it’s a move that allows Slipstream Sports to give as many people as possible a job for the long term,” Vaughters told Cyclingnews.
“This is about stabilizing professional cycling and making a team that has long-term plans founded on grounded business principles and that will be around for a long time.”
The official statement concentrated on the relationship with Felt and said that prior to the announcement, Slipstream had met with Felt Bicycles regarding its option to continue as the team’s bike sponsor for next season and that “after careful consideration Felt Bicycles chose not to exercise its option.”
“Felt has been an invaluable partner since the inception of our organization and is truly an exceptional company. Together we achieved quite a bit and we have a tremendous amount of respect and gratitude for the contributions and innovations they have made to our team, organization and to cycling as a whole,” the statement read.
Meanwhile, Felt Bicycles announced that, “Our organizations met in good faith to discuss an extension. After exploring all options, we decided for the good of all parties to move on.” Felt has been bike sponsor to the team for the past four seasons.
The deal between Garmin-Transitions and Cervélo isn’t just about bikes. A number of riders are expected to make the switch, while the possibility of involving Cervélo as a leading sponsor is also an options. For now though, the team will remain as Garmin-Transitions.
“There are a lot of options on the branding of the partnership,” Vaughters told Cyclingnews. “But at this point in time the team is still called Garmin-Transitions.”
As for specific riders, Vaughters was unable to comment on whether any deals had already been signed, but praised a number of their riders, including Thor Hushovd and Heinrich Haussler.
“Those guys are super bike riders so I’d have to be stupid not to be interested in them. I can’t confirm or deny if contracts have been signed though or that Cervélo will be a title sponsor at this time. I can say that we’ll be 30 riders, as big as we can be.”