Cervelo TestTeam Presents 2010 Team in Portugal
Both men's and women's Cervelo TestTeams are hungry for even more success in 2010. Roadcycling.com reports from the team presentation and training camp near Faro, Portugal.
With Roadcycling.com on site, Cervelo TestTeam launched their sophomore season today at a gala presentation in the midst of the team's two-week training camp near sunny Faro, Portugal. The presentation included all riders from the men's and women's teams, staff, management, team owners as well as representatives from most of the team's partners and suppliers.
According to team spokesmen success in 2009 was achieved both on and off the bike as the men's and women's teams performed beyond expectations throughout the season. The men brought home 25 trophies while the women scored a whooping 43 victories, finishing first in the UCI standings.
Going into the team's second season, new General Manager Joop Alberda has set an even higher goal for the squad. "We want Cervélo TestTeam to become the new standard in cycling," said Alberda. "What happened on the team last year was amazing. The standard they set is already pretty high. It will be up to the cyclists to challenge themselves. We will be there to help them." Alberda background in other sports give him unique knowledge that the team hopes can be beneficial and help give the team and additional advantage over its competition. The team hopes that Alberda will be able to implement management ideas from other sports that will be new and unique to the world of cycling.
"I've learned a lot from other sports that can be applied to cycling," Alberda commented. "In the end, all sports are basically the same. Everyone wants to be the winner. We take a realistic approach to our cyclists that is more humanistic.
We want to continue with this new approach to cycling, with different ways of training, new ways of reaching out to fans, and greater contributions to the development of bicycle technology."
Success isn't measured by victories alone, something that Alberda says makes the Cervélo TestTeam and the brand stand out from the pack. While podiums are the ultimate goal, the team is also focused on its groundbreaking product development, fan access and hospitality initiatives.
"Cervélo TestTeam is one of the few teams in modern cycling that has a clear vision. They have core values and they want to stick to them," he says. "Winning is beautiful, but winning isn't the only thing. We want to work as a unit on our core values and become the team that everyone wants to join."
The team's focus on hospitality and product development has been very visible during our stay with the team over the weekend. Representatives from various team sponsors are taking time to sit down with the riders to discuss their products, how the riders use them, and their likes and dislikes. On the sunny and Spring infused balcony earlier this afternoon, Castelli Sales and Marketing Manager Steve Smith had a long discussion with many of the team's female riders about new product ideas, ideas for further improvements to existing products, and - important to the women - the fashion designs for the 2010 season. It is clear that the team's female riders are highly respected and aren't ranked below the men in regards to attention from team management and sponsors.
For team sponsor Cervelo it's important for the team to focus on more than race wins. Cervelo co-founder Gerard Vroomen made the following statement at today's presentation. "Other teams that are focused solely on winning races are wondering how the season will play out. That's not the case at Cervélo TestTeam. We already know now that 2010 will be more successful than 2009. We have more R&D camps, fan access events and hospitality activities scheduled than last year. Our travel events are selling out quickly. Every race victory is further icing on the cake."
Tour de France winner Carlos Sastre jokingly stated that after a long holiday he wanted to have more holidays. Sastre appears very relaxed, non-stressed and with a clear focus on the 2010 season. He intends to start the season slowly and then has the 2010 Giro d'Italia as his first major goal of the season.
Thor Hushovd said he's very happy with his 2009 season and that his goals this year is to win the Paris-Roubaix, the World Championships and the green jersey in the 2010 Tour de France. "The green jersey isn't for the fastest rider, it's for the best rider," he smilingly told Roadcycling.com in an interview yesterday. Cavendish can bring all the helpers he wants to the 2010 Tour, the Norwegian God of Thunder is stronger than ever and ready to strike again.
For Heinrich Haussler the 2010 goals are the same as for 2009. He's got his eyes solidly fixed on the 2010 Milan-San Remo and strongly believes in a spring classics win for Thor, Andreas or himself this year. "If one of us wins, the whole team wins," Haussler told the audience at the presentation today. Later Haussler and Hushovd laughingly grabbed a game of kicker, or table football, in a relaxed environment.
The female riders appear almost unable to wait for their first race and radiate such a high level of self-confidence that our money will surely be on them to repeat last year's victories.
German Claudia Häusler plans to "Race aggressively," and for coach Egon van Kessel it is a clear objective for the women to repeat their first position in the UCI rankings. "We will be very, very visible in races," said van Kessel.
New signing Sharon Laws, who's represented Great Britain in the Olympic road race and in the World Championships road race and time trial is very happy with her new team mates and getting the chance to ride for Cervelo TestTeam was an opportunity she wouldn't miss out on. "Riding for the best team in the world is a great opportunity," se said at the team presentation, her eyes sparking with joy.
In general the mood is great among all Cervelo TestTeam riders and staff here in Portugal. Spirits are high and the team appears ready for a great new season. We even spotted a shooting star on the sky as the sun set over Portugal late this afternoon.
The training camp will continue until January 24. The men's team will begin their season at the Etoile de Bességes in southern France from February 3-7, the first stage race of the European season. The women's team head further south to their first race, the Tour of Qatar, February 3-5 in order to defend their championship won by Kirsten Wild (NED) last year. Stay tuned to Roadcycling.com to follow the Cervelo TestTeam and the rest of the pro peloton during the exciting new cycling season.
Check out Cervelo TestTeam's 2010 equipment online at www.cervelo.com.