Saturday, August 30, 2008

When the music stops, riders, find your bikes...

There's been a lot of frame manufacturer sponsor musical chairs going on recently. And I'm sure there will be more. I don't know why this interests me because I really could care less who's riding what and at what level. What is interesting is that once you sponsor a pro team, you really can't go back. Once you climb into the pit, there's no way out. It always has to continue and, likely, grow. It's a cycle that becomes an endless headache for the bike companies, I'm sure, as they spend countless dollars to have their frames raced by the sport's best. But does that sponsorship translate into sales? Do you ride your frame because your favorite team or rider rides it?

Cue music.

Team Columbia starts out with Giant. Silence-Lotto is on Ridley. Saunier-Duval rides Scott. Rabobank riders roll on Colnago. CSC-Saxo Bank has forever been on Cervelo.

Shuffle frames. Stop music. Where did they end up?

Scott frames will be under Team Columbia. Rabobank found themselves atop Giant frames. Ridley frames will be ridden by Katusha (formerly Tinkoff). CSC-Saxo Bank has found a sponsor in Specialized (not confirmed by Specialized yet). Cervelo, it appears is doing its own thing in creating the "Cervelo Test Team" (but that's likely to change when a big name corporate sponsor steps up - can't imagine a small bike company having that much extra coin around to throw at sponsoring their own team, and if they do, boy have they been getting a premium for their frames).

So, who's the unlucky bike company who wasn't able to find a seat? Colnago. What's happening to the storied European brands? Are they getting shoved aside by the upstarts? I'm sure Colnago will land a team deal with a strong team. After all, they're Colnago.

What a headache it must be for all players.

(What's playing: KWMR)

No comments: