Cervelo TestTeam riders are starting to make plans for their future following the surprise announcement a few days ago that the team would stop at the end of the season. Xavier Tondo announced Sunday that he will ride for the newly-named Movistar team, while Theo Bos is said to be going back to Rabobank.
Tondo, 31, has served as a lieutenant for captain Carlos Sastre in both the Giro d'Italia and the Vuelta a Espana this year. He won stages in both Paris-Nice and the Volta a Catalunya, finishing second overall in the Spanish stage race.
"It's not a new team but a new sponsor," Tondo told Cyclingnews at the start of stage 2 of the Vuelta a España in Alcala de Guadaira. "When I decided to take up cycling at the age of 14, it was because I saw Perico Delgado and Miguel Indurain on TV. I was a big fan of the Banesto team. To sign with them for two years is like a dream come true. It makes me happy after getting the sad news of Cervélo stopping the team."
"We haven't discussed yet with Unzue which role I'll have in the team, nor the race program, but there will be a lot of opportunities for me to take part in big races," Tondo added.
The Spaniard rode for small teams until he was attracted by Carlos Sastre to join Cervélo as a domestique. He did more than that as he won a stage at Paris-Nice and another one at Volta a Catalunya where he finished second overall.
"Of course I'd like to ride the Tour de France," he said. "I was disappointed not to be able to do it this year because of the health problems I encountered at the Giro. I was forced to pull out with fever. It was sad because I was third on GC after two weeks." Tondo was one of the most active riders during the legendary stage 11 to L'Aquila where most of the favourites got trapped by the offensive of 56 breakaway riders.
Sickness in Italy wasn't the end of the troubles for Tondo. "I took a rest for the Vuelta," he continued. "But I broke my collarbone at the Tour of Poland. That means I've only had four days of racing since my retirement from the Giro. Riding the Vuelta is like starting a new season. Carlos feels really good. I hope I can help him to reach his goal."
Sastre has set the final top 3 as his objective at the Tour of Spain. "There is still a good team spirit at Cervélo," said directeur sportif Jens Zemke. "That's what we learned from the opening team time trial. The surprise came from the intermediate time check where we had the best time. It would have been great to put Iñigo Cuesta in red jersey at 41! We cheered a lot for him. Everyone in this team has been working so hard, it's sad to hear that it won't continue but everyone remains motivated for helping Sastre to make the podium in Madrid."
Sastre had secured a deal with Geox before the announcement of the dismissal of the Cervélo Test Team.
Tondo's Cervelo teammate Theo Bos may be returning to both Rabobank and track riding, according to Dutch Eurosport commentator Danny Nellisen.
Nellisen, who rode professionally from 1982 to 1988, said that he had a reliable source for the possible transfer, which would include Bos riding track events at the London Olympics 2012.
Bos concentrated on track racing until 2008, winning five world championships and an Olympic gold medal. Since then he has continued to race on the track, but switched from sprint distance events to the endurance side, which coincides better with road racing. He participated in several six-day events last winter.
This year Bos has come into his own, with four victories for Cervelo TestTeam. He won the Clasica de Almeria and a stage at the Vuelta a la Region de Murcia, and two stages of the Vuelta a Castilla y Leon, where he wore the leader's jersey for two days.