Team HTC-Columbia to Ride Specialized Bikes in 2011
Team HTC-High Road to ride Specialized S-Works Tarmac and Specialized S-Works Roubaix bikes plus Specialized helmets in 2011.
"The close partnership with Cervelo TestTeam clearly helped many of the sponsoring companies increase the speed with which the companies moved up the learning curve and also helped some of the companies extend the learning curves for their various product types. This happens at a time where a lot of investment capital has gone into cycling equipment research and development and where new technologies are now being exploited to an increasing extent," Roadcycling.com founder and bike industry analyst Thomas A. Valentinsen commented.
Valentinsen added "We've seen years of rapid changes to bikes and equipment and bike companies are now finding it harder to produce ground-breaking innovations. Therefore, bike manufacturers such as Specialized and Cervelo, but also bicycling equipment manufacturers such as Specialized, Castelli, Rotor, and SRAM are seeing an increasing value in the product feedback gained from pro cyclists who spend numerous hours on their bikes and know more about the advantages and disadvantages of bikes and equipment than engineers working in front of laptop monitors. I am certain that Specialized will be able to gain valuable insider knowledge from Team HTC-High Road's male and female riders through its partnership with the team, if the company truly understands how to obtain such knowledge from pro cyclists."
Specialized is currently sponsoring Team Saxo Bank-SunGard, but after previously being the World's best pro cycling team the team has recently suffered several setbacks including the loss of important riders such as World Time Trial Champion Fabian Cancellara and Andy Schleck and Frank Schleck. The team then signed Tour de France Champion Alberto Contador but with the recent doping accusations against Contador the team sponsorship has lost important value for Specialized. It is therefore clear that there was a need for an additional team sponsorship for Specialized, which will also make it easier for Specialized to withdraw its sponsorship of Team Saxo Bank-SunGard and Riis Cycling if the team falters because of either doping accusations or lack of valuable race results in major races.