Jean Paul Van Poppel, venerable DS of the CervÃ©lo Test Team, has given a clear indication that the rumors surrounding the Test Team’s demise at the end of the season are true, reports Velonation.
The website takes up Biciclismo.com‘s Spanish-language reporting, which quoted Van Poppel as sayingÂ â€œI cannot deny that it is true. The future will change. For me, it is a question of how [it will happen]. I hope that we donâ€™t stop completely, but at this moment I can say nothing meaningful about it.â€
Carlos Sastre had already confirmed his move to the Geox team next season, but the indications are that CervÃ©lo had not tried to offer him – or any of the other riders whose contracts were up – a renegotiated deal for 2011. Biciclismo is reporting that Thor Hushovd, Hienrich Haussler, Roger Hammond and Andreas Klier will move to Garmin-Transitions next year, and that CervÃ©lo will also supply bikes to the team, which is part-owned by David Millar.
CervÃ©lo have scheduled a pre-Vuelta press conference for Saturday morning, where the situation will presumably become clearer. If the news is true, it will see the end of a fascinating experiment, so well documented in their Beyond the Peloton videos – and the close to another chapter in the stuttering history of manufacturer-sponsored teams. The Test Team undoubtedly enhanced the reputation of the innovative bike manufacturer, but it appears the costs of maintaining a UCI ProTour team were simply too high.
The women’s team will stay as a stand-alone entity, it is reported.