Team Saxo Bank to Ride Specialized Bikes in 2009
Team Saxo Bank (currently Team CSC-Saxo Bank) will park their Cervelo bikes in the garage and bring out their brand new Specialized bikes come January 2009.
the two companies from day one and I am convinced that it will become clear to everyone that these are two highly ambitious organizations that are going to collaborate closely in this deal. I chose Specialized based on our common vision, their excellent bikes and equipment combined with their ability to develop future materials that will help us win. I have taken multiple trips to the Specialized headquarters in the past months to ride their bikes and speak with their engineers and I am hugely impressed with what I have seen” Bjarne Riis commented.
The question remains how open and cooperative Specialized will be after signing the agreement. Towards Roadcycling.com Specialized has been very closed and unwilling to cooperate and listen to new ideas. Once the agreement is signed a lock-in situation is formed and the company may be less interested in listening to the team's ideas because the contract period is three years. The main things that will likely cause Specialized to be interested in improving its current bike models and developing new bikes will likely be new product introductions from competitors or Team Saxo Bank riders being unable to ride the current Specialized bike models to victory in the most important pro races.
“We are very keen to give the best possible feedback to Specialized in order for us to be riding the best bikes in the world. The feedback from all our riders is fundamental in this process and we are notoriously famous for setting incredibly high standards. I am convinced that this is one of the main reasons why Specialized also sees this as a great project”, added Riis.
The decision to leave Cervelo for Specialized comes at a time where cycling industry analysts are paying close attention to Riis Cycling's (The company behind Team CSC-Saxo Bank) increasing focus on profits and revenue generation. One of the moves towards a more dedicated focus on revenue generation is Riis Cycling's decision to start distributing cycling equipment through its sister company Riis Distribution.