The Cervélo TestTeam held its official presentation in Portugal on Sunday, confident it can build on its debut season in 2009 and be even more successful in 2010.
The women’s squad topped the UCI team ranking but is looking for more stage race and classic success in 2010 as well as the top spot in the individual UCI rankings.
Thor Hushovd and Heinrich Haussler want a major Classics win for the men’s team after going so close, so often in 2009, while Carlos Sastre is to target the Giro d'Italia before deciding if he will target the Tour de France. Hushovd is ready to ride even more aggressively to win a second green jersey at the Tour de France, and then both he and Haussler will target the World Championships in Australia.
The Cervélo TestTeam has a redesigned jersey for 2010, with the Cervelo é filling the back of the jersey. The team issue R3sl bike has also been given a new look and the team will use SRAM components alongside Rotor cranks, 3T bars, Fizik saddles and Zipp wheels.
Cervélo co-founders Phil White and Gerard Vroomen were the first to reveal their hopes and ambitions for 2010 during the presentation.
"It's been an unbelievable first year. Some people thought we wouldn't be back for a second year but we proved we can make the difficult first step on a long journey," Vroomen said with pride.
"12 months ago, it was the riders who decided our core values: honest innovation, sacrifice, unity and success. Now we want to build on those even more. We know that 2010 will be better than 2009. We can’t guarantee to win more but we can guarantee we will make better bikes, and give people better access to the team."
There have been significant changes in the Cervélo Team Test management structure for 2010. Thomas Campana is no longer involved and Vroomen and White have brought in Joop Alberda who has worked for the Dutch Olympic teams and the Russian soccer team. The changes are a clear sign of the team's constant drive for constant innovation.
The 14 women and 25 men packed the small theatre in the Robinson resort on the Algarve for the presentation and then posed near the swimming pool for the official team photograph.
Emma Pooley, Giro d'Italia winner Claudia Hausler and the experienced Mirjam Melchers lead the women's team. Carlos Sastre, Thor Hushovd and Heinrich Haussler stand out as the leaders of a very solid men’s team.
After a difficult 2009, Sastre has rediscovered his friendly smile and is ready for the new season.
"I needed a long break after riding four major Tours in 18 months but now I'm ready again," he said. "My first goal is the Giro d’Italia and then I’ll decide about the Tour de France. I’ll probably ride and I want to ride it but I’ll decide after the Giro. Last year I was tired when I started the Tour and I don’t want to do that again."
Hushovd and Haussler each want a cobbled classic victory in 2010
"Paris-Roubaix is my big goal, then the green jersey at the Tour de France and then the World Championships. That’s three peaks but I think I can do it," Hushovd said.
"Last year we were all a bit nervous because we didn’t know how to work together but no we’re having more fun. We’re more relaxed and we’re going to be good in a couple of weeks time and have an even better season in 2010."
Haussler wants to win the Tour of Flanders
"I’ve got some unfinished business at Milan-San Remo but I really want to win Flanders. We’ve got a really strong classics team and so our goal is that we win a big one with Thor, me or even Andreas Klier. It doesn’t matter who, because if one of us wins the whole team wins," he said.
Like other teams, the Cervelo men’s riders are confident they can take on HTC-Columbia in the sprints and win a second green jersey in the Tour de France.
Directeur sportif and former sprinter Jean Paul van Poppel ended the presentation by throwing down the Tour de France gauntlet to Cavendish, getting a loud cheer from the teams staff and sponsors.
"There’s an English guy who thinks he can win it but he’ll have to win more than six stages to get it in 2010, so it won’t be as easy for him as he thinks," he said.
The Cervélo Test Team will stay in Portugal for another week of intense training. After some illnesses and wet weather, drier and warmer conditions are forecast for the next few days.
The team is not riding the Tour Down Under and so the men will make their season debut at Etoile de Besseges in France on February 3. Kirsten Wild will lead the women’s team at the Tour of Qatar on the same day after winning the race in 2009.
Elisabeth Armitstead (Great Britain)
Emilie Aubry (Switzerland)
Regina Bruins (Netherlands)
Lieselot Decroix (Belgium)
Sarah Düster (Germany)
Claudia Häusler (Germany)
Sharon Laws (Great Britain)
Mirjam Melchers (Netherlands)
Emma Pooley (Great Britain)
Carla Ryan (Australia)
Patricia Schwager (Switzerland)
Iris Slappendel (Netherlands)
Kirsten Wild (Netherlands)
Davide Appollonio (Italy)
Theo Bos (Netherlands)
João Correia (Portugal)
Iñigo Cuesta (Spain)
Philip Deignan (Ireland)
Stefan Denifl (Austria)
Xavier Florencio (Spain)
Volodimir Gustov (Ukraine)
Roger Hammond (Great Britain)
Heinrich Haussler (Germany)
Jérémy Hunt (Great Britain)
Thor Hushovd (Norway)
Ted King (United States)
Andreas Klier (Germany)
Ignatas Konovalovas (Lithuania)
Brett Lancaster (Australia)
Daniel Lloyd (Great Britain)
Joaquín Novoa (Spain)
Oscar Pujol (Spain)
Gabriel Rasch (Norway)
Martin Reimer (Germany)
Dominique Rollin (Canada)
Carlos Sastre (Spain)
Xavier Tondo (Spain)
Marcel Wyss (Switzerland)