30 August 2010

On the demise of the Cervelo Test Team

David posted already about the end of the Cervelo Test Team. I just would like to add some longer thoughts, perhaps too long for simple comment.

OK, Cervelo shuts down it's own racing team and joins forces with the team of Garmin-Tranisitions. Things like that happen all the time, is there any team that starts in major cycling events that runs under the same name for a longer period of time, say 3 years? So one should not be sad. I would be sad if my hometown soccerteam Borussia Mönchengladbach would be renamed for obvious reasons of speed of spelling into Postbank MG, but teams in the peloton are lacking a more emotional bound.

Which is to say, that the Cervelo Test Team might be the obvious exception to this rule for several reasons that came to my mind the moment I read the news.

Well, I ride a Cervelo bike and so do some other Positivo Espressionists and TCCers. It might not be the greatest bike in the world (that is perhaps because it is the cheapest bike in the Cervelo lineup; so the more expensive ones must be greater and better: S1, formerly know as the Soloist). I personally also don't think that it is much better or worse than a Cannondale, Colnago or Canyon. But it is my bike, the one I chose some time ago, and for that simple reason I would have loved to see the Cervelo Test Team continuing.

Why is it so hard to support a team called "Liquigas"? That is indeed another point for Cervelo: A sponsor who manufacturers road racing bikes and setup his own team. It is hard to support teams that are sponsored by companies distributing gas, providing credit, telecommunication, power tools, promoting strange countries or distributing consumer electronics. Moreover in countries I travel to very rarely. So I liked the idea very much that a cycling-related company sponsors a cycling team. That seems so logical, but with the exception of Skil-Shimano and perhaps Garmin-Transitions, there is not very much logic out there.

Exceptions to the above comment: Gerolsteiner, because they had these nice bubbles on their racing jerseys some years ago. And Euskatel, for the fantastic orange color. Definitely not exceptions:  Milram and Team Telekom. Minus points in addition for the magnenta color and failing to provide me with a telephone line within 4 weeks in Bremen.

Cervelo has great marketing. They featured a series of short videos called "Beyond the peloton" which were very well made. Yes, yes, they brought great insights into the world of pro cycling and looked deeply behind the scenes of the teams. Sorry, but not the point. My point is that they had a good music track, some kind of modern version of Erik Satie's
"Gymnopedie No.1". Plus some very nice pictures, all together creating an atmosphere, an image in my mind of how cycling could be.

Last but not least, the team featured some sympathic riders. No, not Heinrich "Barbie" Haussler, who was rumored to take a leading role in Toy Story 3.  Rather, Carlos Sastre, who came across in the video series as a very responsible and modest guy, Thor Hushovd, and Andreas "GPS" Klier -- of whom I had never heard before.  And so far we have never heard any doping rumours about them. This is more than one can expect.

Finally, Cervelo had the best designed jerseys of all tour teams, with the exception that Team Euskatel has the better color. No sponsor names in completely different designs all over the place. Simply three colors plus oversized ""E accent aigu" or however this thing is called.

That sums up my thoughts. So let's see how the new liaison with Garmin will work out. How would a GPS system look like if it were designed by Cervelo. How would a bike look like if it were manufactured by Garmin?  I'm sure it would come with a 492 page user manual and a reset buttom located under the bottom bracket. And you must call Garmin every second month and ask for a new bike update.

Anyway. The Cervelo GPS could be the salvation.

Thanks to Podium Cafe.

1 comment:

David L. said...

MOB: Thank you for the thoughtful comment. Yes, the Cervelo video music from bartape.net videos is memorable ... sometimes it drives me crazy that I can't get it out of my head. Then I thought maybe if I make a video about one of my cycling adventures, I would want to do it "in the style of" (shamelessly fake?) a bit of the sound of their narrator and music.

Thor, Andreas -- cannot wait to see where these guys end up. Carlos -- off to finish his career at Geox. I wish Barbie the vesty best for a full recovery from his knee injuries. Would be great to see what he can do in the classics if he is healthy next year so we get more focus on his cycling and less on his smirking grin.