Cannondale may be in a spot of financial bother, but they’re still going to be a pretty potent force in the world of racing. Cannondale Europe isn’t affected by the recent Chapter 11 filing in the US, and it’s in Europe that all the race team moving and shaking looks to be taking place.
So for 2003 and 2004, it’ll be the Siemens mobile Cannondale team, run by Rainer-Wurz.com, a sports management company formed by former MTB race Markus Rainer and F1 driver Alex Wurz. The breakdown of responsibilities is fairly clear – Rainer-Wurz organises everything, Cannondale provide the bikes and Siemens mobile provide, well, phones.
The squad looks pretty strong. It’s made up of riders from last year’s Rainer-Wurz.com team and the former Volvo/Cannondale squad (described in the official press release as the “winningest” team in mountain bike history, an adjective that exists only in the minds of bike company PR departments as far as we can tell. At least no-one’s yet described their team as “most winsome” although it can surely only be a matter of time. But we digress) including Christoph Sauser
(Switzerland), Roel Paulissen (Belgium), Tinker Juarez (US), Hannes Pallhuber (Italy) and Franz Hofer (Italy) for cross-country, and Cedric Gracia (France) and Petra Bernhard (Austria) for downhill and four-cross.
Cedric Gracia debuted the new team at the Red Bull Ride in Australia, and the squad will compete in the World Cup, the World Championships and all major international and European mountain bike races. Needless to say, according to the press release representatives of all three companies are terribly pleased. And there’s a load of corporate stuff about Siemen’s “infrastructure portfolio” and what a powerful “marketing platform” the team is, but we doubt you’re too interested in any of that. Bottom line is: Cannondale racing in 2003 and 2004. Which has to be a good thing.