Last week was the first meeting of the new Garmin-Cervelo team. It also meant a last time to see some of these riders in their beautiful Cervelo TestTeam outfits. A sad moment for me, realizing that this venture was over, but I think that given the options, we made the most of it.
- As of this moment, 81 of 85 people on the Cervelo TestTeam have found new opportunities. That includes all 14 riders who were under contract for 2011, plus most of the riders and staff not under contract. I’m quite happy with that, as many were worried that this would be very difficult. The riders, staff and management have done a great job to help each other find something for next year. Of course the work isn’t done until the final 4 have also found something.
- Most of the sponsors have also found homes elsewhere. Some at Garmin, some elsewhere. There we tried to also help as much as possible, of course for those who were under contract with CTT for next year as we were obliged to, but also for those who were not as we really get along well with our industry partners and want them to be successful, with or without Cervelo.
- While the CTT pro team stops, I am hopeful that we made a tiny difference in pro cycling and that some of our ideas will live on. Certainly, some of our ideas regarding fan access have been picked up by other teams and by our riders. It was amazing to see that Appollonio, Bos, Tondo and Reimer – all riders not riding on a Cervelo next year – were present at our dealer training weeks in November. They could have easily said no, but they all said more or less the same thing: We joined this team because it was different, and we enjoy spending some time with regular people who enjoy these bikes just as much as we do.
- Obviously product testing will live on at Garmin-Cervelo. We started this at Team CSC, when we looked at a team much more as an R&D support than a “victory-machine”. When that aspect of the team equation got really hard to continue, we went to the next level with CTT. And now with Garmin, a team that already had an interest in innovation, we’ll be able to continue using the pros to make better bikes for all our customers.
- Maybe most importantly, our spirit will live on. It was amazing to see that the Garmin team, without any prompting from us, suggested to honor some of the things initiated by Cervelo. Obviously we are happy when any team does that, whether we are associated with them or not. After all we weren’t looking to protect any of our ideas in the past two years; we wanted them to spread. It’s nice to see when that actually happens. More on this in a later blog.
So on the one hand it certainly feels as a failure – after all, our goal was to find a secondary sponsor so we could continue and although it looked good, it didn’t happen in the end. On the other hand, there is a silver lining and I feel very positive about the future. Not only with regards to our participation in pro cycling, but also regarding our new R-series, our distribution, the simplification of our operations, everything is pointing in the right direction now. But I’ll get back to that later as well.