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Cervelo Test Team

Established: 2009

2009 SUMMARY: New teams aren’t supposed to compete as successfully as this ‘test’ team did. No fewer than 25 wins is a great total, but what made this even better was the quality of many of those victories. There were stage wins in all three major tours – a massive eight of them – plus Thor Hushovd’s second points title at the Tour. Add in a couple of prestigious one-day wins and it almost seems churlish to point out that team leader Carlos Sastre, as defending Tour champion, had a stinker in July.

LOOKING AHEAD: Having seen what Cervélo have achieved so far, there are whispers about other manufacturers following their lead. According to the riders, the key to this team is great organisation. On the road, just about every rider got a chance to show their stuff in 2009 and all should get similar opportunities again while team leaders Sastre and Hushovd will keep them in contention for the major jerseys. A big win looks imminent and would have come for Haussler last year but for Mark Cavendish’s last-gasp San Remo success.

THE LINE-UP: Cervélo look to have lost more than they’ve gained, especially with the departure of Simon Gerrans, a stage winner at both the Giro and Vuelta last year. But the experienced Xavier Tondó should provide dependable support to Sastre in the mountains. Theo Bos promises to be a handful in sprints and Stefan Denifl looks full of climbing promise.

ONE TO WATCH: Keep an eye on Giro TT winner Ignatas Konovalovas and German road champion Martin Reimer. More intriguing will be the progress of Theo Bos (below). The Dutch sprinter was suspended for a month after taking out race leader Daryl Impey in the final bunch sprint at the Tour of Turkey, depriving Bos of the chance to build on the progress he’d made early in the year. He should thrive in a  sprinter-packed team providing him lead-outs and advice.


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