Road sponsorship round-up: Who's riding what in 2011

By James Huang, tech editor, in Boulder, CO | Tuesday, December 7, 2010 11.10am

Garmin-Transitions are undergoing one of the most comprehensive supplier changes of the top road teams, swapping bikes, components and clothing for the 2011 season.

Cervélo will replace Felt as the team's bike suppliers and also step in as co-title sponsors after the company decided to move away from their innovative manufacturer-backed TestTeam model of the past few years. 

The team – heretofore known as Garmin-Cervélo – will mostly be aboard the aero-profiled S3 carbon frames, though some of the squad's smaller riders and climbing specialists may opt for the lighter R5/R3 models. Transitions are expected to continue their sponsorship of the team but as the official lens suppliers rather than title sponsors.

"As we've often mentioned, our primary goal has always been to have some control over the direction that cycling will take," said Cervélo co-founder Phil White. "In our eight years in pro cycling, we've seen the many possibilities cycling offers. The very positive response to a focus on more than just racing has been great. The emphasis we've had on product R&D since 2003 will be integrated into the new team’s routine as well."

In addition, SRAM replace long-time component suppliers Shimano and will supply their top-end Red transmission, DoubleTap levers and brakes. Rotor will step in as crank suppliers, though, providing their clever 3D hollow-milled aluminum cranks and an assortment of round and elliptical chainrings. The removable spider allows for an apparent move to SRM power meters away from Powertap.

Garmin-Cervélo will even change clothing sponsors for the next three years, trading out Colorado-based Pearl Izumi for Castelli. The Italian company are slated to provide apparel for the pro men's and women's teams along with the U23 and even the junior development squads. As with Pearl Izumi, it's expected that Castelli will use the team to test new concepts and ideas before they're released to the public.

“This multi-year agreement to provide clothing to all levels gives us continued access to valued input from the world’s top pros, both men and women,” said Castelli racing performance director Andrea Peron in a press release. "We've created a joint research and development program working with Robby Ketchell, the team’s sport science director, and we've outlined an innovation agenda focused on making the athletes as fast as possible in every racing condition.”

The new garmin-cervélo team will use bikes similar to those used by the cervélo testteam, with the one major change of mavic wheels instead of zipp ones:

The new Garmin-Cervélo team will use bikes similar to those ridden by the Cervélo TestTeam, with the one major change of Mavic wheels instead of Zipp ones

Movistar to run electronic Campagnolo groups, Catlike helmets

The new Movistar team – formerly known as Caisse d'Epargne – will reportedly retain most of their previous equipment sponsors, including Pinarello, Campagnolo, Selle Italia and Elite. Campagnolo will equip the riders with a new electronic group that was briefly shown at the official team presentation in October. The company are still elusive with details, though they have confirmed that Movistar will be the only team so equipped for next season. 

Certain aspects look to mirror those of Shimano's Dura-Ace Di2, including shift actuator placement analogous to Campagnolo's mechanical levers, a giant front derailleur body (required to house the high-powered motor) and a down-tube-mounted battery positioned just below the bottle cage. Of course, the system moves the chain across 11 rear cogs instead of the 10 employed by Shimano and SRAM.

Spanish company Catlike will replace Giro as the squad's official helmet suppliers. Team riders will use the Whisper Plus for road events along with the Chrono Aero Plus for time trials. Both models are mostly carryover for 2011 save for subtle improvements such as the new 'floating' rear retention system that's said to improve fit and overall comfort.

"It makes us very happy to join a team like Movistar," said Catlike CEO Pepe del Ramo. "A structure ruled by Eusebio Unzúe, who has been managing top teams for more than 30 years, gives us a lot of confidence and excitement. Catlike are used to dealing with top teams from all over the world but it's always nice to collaborate with a Spanish team."

Catlike are finally bringing its helmets into the us and will also be supplying the spanish movistar team in 2011:

Catlike are finally bringing their helmets into the US and will also be supplying the Spanish Movistar team in 2011

Pegasus to fly on Scott bikes and Bont shoes for 2011

Australian road team Pegasus Sports – formerly known as Fly V Australia – move to a bigger bike supplier for the 2011 season, switching from niche brand Derosa to Scott. Though neither group has yet to make an official announcement, keen-eyed observers have already spotted the team's riders aboard new Scott F01 aero road bikes on training rides around Queensland.

Scott have yet to officially unveil the F01 as a production model but its continued appearance in the pro ranks suggests we're likely to see it added to catalogues as a 2012 model. Claimed frame weight is tantalizingly close to that of the current Addict at just 840g, and the giant D-shaped tubes and tapered front end are said to offer notable improvements in rigidity. Scott say the truncated airfoil cross-sections will save a substantial 20W of power output at typical racing speeds (based on a 300W rider output).

The pegasus sports team will be riding scott's new f01 aero road bike in 2011:

The Pegasus Sports team will be riding Scott's new F01 aero road bike in 2011

Those frames will be wrapped in SRAM Red groups, Selle Italia saddles, Vittoria tires, and Zipp wheels, bars and stems. Bont will provide the Pegasus Sports team with footwear across the board, with models to include the company's latest Vaypor, the ultralight Zero and the aero Crono. All feature fully heat moldable uppers and lowers for a customizable fit, and ultralight and rigid bathtub-style carbon fiber soles.

"As an Australian company, we're immensely proud of the depth of Australian cycling talent and this Australian project by Pegasus," said Bont Cycling CEO Steven Nemeth. "Our objective is to develop the best possible cycling shoe through continual testing and technical innovation. We want to provide both the competitive and enthusiast cyclist with a cycling shoe that offers true anatomical fit and comfort combined with unparalleled performance."

Pegagus sports riders will be using australian bont shoes this coming season:

Pegagus Sports riders will be using Australian Bont shoes this coming season

Felt to support Team Exergy through 2012

After mutually agreeing with Garmin-Transitions to part ways after the 2010 season, Felt Bicycles are once again turning their attention towards emerging teams and talents. For 2011-2012, they'll sponsor the Idaho-based Team Exergy UCI Continental road squad whose roster will include 2001 and 2006 US road champions Remi McManus and Matt Cooke. Felt will provide Team Exergy with both road and time trial bikes, including the all-new F-series road bike and B2 time trial framesets.

"Felt have a storied history of supporting emerging teams and new talent, and in Team Exergy we feel as though they have the blueprint to be very successful," said Felt marketing director Doug Martin. "After a competitive run at the NRC and select international events this year, Team Exergy have put together the pieces to take their program to the next level and we're excited to be a part of it."

Felt will supply team exergy with their new f-series road bikes:

Felt will supply Team Exergy with their new F-series road bikes

Rotor Bike Components to outfit Saur-Sojasun team

After years of struggling to get a foot in the door of pro team sponsorship, Rotor Bike Components now seem to be acquiring new teams and riders with an impressive pace, most recently adding the Saur Sojasun team to their list of sponsored outfits for 2011. According to Rotor, Saur Sojasun will use their 3D+ cranks, both round and elliptical chainrings, BB30 bottom bracket, chain catchers and race number holders. 

"France is one of our leading markets, in which we have quite a number of fans and high customer fidelity, so we want to thank them for this support by sponsoring one of the country’s leading teams," said Rotor CEO Ignacio Estellés. "A strong professional team, well placed in the 2010 UCI rankings – above some ProTour teams – is a new proving ground for our technologies, increasing the brand´s fame and customer’s confidence in our products."

Rotor will find their cranks and chainrings on a number of top road teams in 2011:

Rotor will find their cranks and chainrings on a number of top road teams in 2011

Europcar team continue on Colnago bikes, switch to Louis Garneau helmets and clothing

The recently announced UCI Pro Continental Europcar team – formerly known as BBox Bouygues Telecom – will carry on with Colnago bikes for both road and time trial racing but will make a move from Nalini clothing to Louis Garneau through the 2012 season. Louis Garneau will also supply the team with Diamond and X-Lite road helmets, and the new Vorttice time trial helmet.

"For years, Louis Garneau have been producing some of the most technical gear on the market," said the company's international marketing director Pierre Perron in a press release. "This sponsorship will strengthen our credibility as we test and prove our apparel and helmets through the collaboration of the world's best athletes." 

Thomas voeckler stays on as captain of the reformed europcar team and will stay on his familiar colnago, too:

Thomas Voeckler stays on as captain of the reformed Europcar team and will stay on his familiar Colnago, too

Key product models will include the Diamond, X-Lite and Vorttice helmets, plus the top-end Corsa range of clothing. "Our relationship with Louis Garneau and the past helmet sponsorship of the Bouygues Telecom Professional Cycling Team from 2005-2008 has always been a positive factor in the history of our team," said team manager Jean-Rene Bernaudeau.

"This year, we strengthen our relationship and bring Louis Garneau helmets and apparel to the team. Louis Garneau are one of the few manufacturers outfitting teams with helmets and apparel, and also one of the few manufacturers producing helmets and apparel at that caliber of technology."

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