Three-time Tour de France points champion Robbie McEwen will head up the Pegasus Sports team in its bid to join the ProTour in 2011. The 38-year-old Queenslander leaves the Katusha squad after two seasons to rejoin his old friend Chris White, who is pushing to turn his current Fly V Australia squad into the country's first ProTour team.
"I've known Chris White for 20 years and know many of the current staff and riders," McEwen said in a statement. "The team has built an impressive record in North America over the past two years, and with their move into Europe in 2011, the timing and the vibe could not be better.
"I chose to make this move because I have a lot of respect for Chris White, his drive and vision, and what he is doing for Australian cycling. I know with the riders coming on board that we'll have a very strong, competitive team. I'm really looking forward to next year – my 17th season as a professional."
McEwen promised to respect the remaining time on his contract with Katusha. "Katusha has been great over the past two seasons and I'll be giving 100 percent right up to my last race of 2010."
White and McEwen both come from Brisbane, and were training partners at the start of McEwen's storied career, which includes some 200 victories. "It's quite ironic that Robbie and I used to train and race together when Robbie first started road racing back in the early 1990s," said White. "In fact the lineage of the Pegasus Sports team can be traced to a team I started in 1993 that Robbie and I both raced on. Just as he was back then, Robbie will be a great fit and a tremendous asset for our team."
The full team roster and schedule is still in the works, with more announcements expected later this month and next month.