TORONTO (BRAIN) — Cervélo co-founder Gerard Vroomen, who left the company soon after its acquisition by the Pon Group several years ago, is heading up a new partnership between Cervélo, Rotor components and the South Africa-registered pro team, Team MTN-Qhubeka, for the 2015 season.
Cervélo and Rotor will sponsor the UCI Pro Continental team and according to a Cervélo press statement, Vroomen plans to create a program that will "bring fans closer to the team and its riders than ever before."
Team MTN-Qhubeka will support young African riders matched with seasoned professionals from Europe and North America.
"Cervélo has always been synonymous with the highest levels of racing performance," said team principal Douglas Ryder. "The new team will be competitive on the world stage, and Cervélo has already won everything from the world championships to cobbled classics like Paris-Roubaix and Grand Tours including the Tour de France. Who better to give Team MTN-Qhubeka's riders the best opportunity to succeed?"
The team raises money for the Qhubeka Foundation to bring bicycle mobility to isolated areas of Africa.
"Cervélo is excited at the opportunity to support both the team and the Qhubeka Foundation," said Cervélo managing director Robert Reijers. "Not just in terms of high-performance racing, but also because we truly believe that by providing cycling mobility, we can directly benefit people's lives by increasing the distance they can travel, what they can carry, where they can go, and how fast they can get there."
The company will introduce team replica bike models in 2015, with Cervélo donating a Qhubeka Foundation bicycle for every team replica Cervélo sold.
The company-owned Cervélo Test Team operated from 2009 to 2011, then merged with the Slipstream team (now Garmin-Sharp). Cervélo continues to supply bikes to the Garmin-Sharp team this year, but a company spokesman said Cervélo will not renew its agreement at the end of 2014.
"The parting is professional and amicable. We've had a great four years together and wish our friends at Slipstream all the best, but we felt that Cervélo has always been about innovation — in bikes and in bike racing — and that MTN-Qhubeka will help us write a new chapter in that story," Cervélo's Rick Vosper said.