The game of sponsor musical chairs continues. Cervelo and Rotor, both current sponsors of Garmin-Sharp, have signed a deal with South African-registered pro continental squad MTN-Qhubeka for 2015.
Trek, MTN-Qhubeka’s current bike sponsor, will focus on its own World Tour team in 2015.
Cervelo’s move to MTN-Qhubeka only fuels rumors swirling around the Tour de France that Garmin-Sharp and Cannondale will combine in 2015. Of course, there would be no room for a second bike brand in the event of a merger.
The partnership between Cervelo, Rotor, and the South African team will be led by Cervelo co-founder Gerard Vroomen, who left the company shortly after it was bought by Pon Group in 2012, and will focus on taking the “fan experience and interaction to a whole new level,” according to a Cervelo statement.
Much of that interaction will be related to MTN-Qhubeka’s charitable mission. Qhubeka is an organization that provides bicycles in return for work done to improve communities or the environment, and for academic results. Cervelo will introduce team-replica bike models in 2015 and will donate a Qhubeka foundation bicycle for every replica bike sold.
“Cervelo is excited at the opportunity to support both the team and the Qhubeka Foundation,” said Cervelo 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 team’s 2015 roster will be announced soon, and will continue to pull on both African, European, and North American talent, according to the statement from Cervelo. MTN-Qhubeka will tackle its first grand tour, the Vuelta a Espana, this fall.
“Cervelo has always been synonymous with the highest levels of racing performance, “said team Principal Douglas Ryder in a statement. “The new team will be competitive on the world stage, and Cervelo has already won everything from the world championships to cobbled classics like Paris-Roubaix and Grand Tours including the Tour de France.”