30 October 2011

Remembering HTC Highroad

HTC Highroad closes shop 
The train has left the station. The team that changed the way we watch a sprint finish has come to an end. We learned to focus on the powerful yellow and white train forming in the center of the field. We watched waiting for the condensed form of Mark Cavendish to be hurled toward the finish line, unleashing his final sprint. Win after win was the result of a finely trained team of riders surrounding the repeated winner. The orchestrated pattern of HTC Highroad became one of the predictable truths in the sport of cycling in recent years. They never disappointed. Now they are gone. 
Regrouped into other teams around the world, the talented riders that made up HTC Highroad have disbanded due to lack of sponsorship. Click the image below to study the faces of these men who entertained and thrilled us with their hard work and dedication to each other and to the sport of cycling. HTC Highroad was a team that set high standards of excellence. The mens and womens teams combined for an impressive 513 wins from 2008-2011.
Pictured above - the winning HTC Highroad team of the 2011 Tour de France (L-R): Allan Peiper, Bill Stapleton, Brian Holm, Mark Renshaw (AUS), Peter Velits (SVK), Mark Cavendish (BRG), Matt Goss (AUS), Danny Pate (USA), Tony Martin (GER), Tejay Van Garderen (USA), Lars Bak (DEN), Bernhard Eisel (AUT), Valerio Piva, Rolf Aldag. click image to enlarge

What about the former staff of HTC Highroad? It has been announced that Erik Zabel is moving to Katusha and will be working with sprinter Oscar Freire (Rabobank). Valerio Piva will also be joining Katusha as a Directeur Sportif. Allan Peiper has accepted a job with the Garmin-Cervelo team for 2012. Rolf Aldag is moving to the World Triathlon Corporation along with the former general manager of the Tour of California Andrew Messick. Brian Holm will be working with the Quickstep team. Bill Stapleton will remain an entrepreneur, and the women's team will not be disbanding.

The former HTC Highroad riders have been reabsorbed into other ProTeams, read: Where have all the Pro Riders gone for a list of the new team rosters forming for 2012. Mark Cavendish, Bernhard Eisel, and Danny Pate will be going to Team Sky. Marco Pinoti and Tejay van Garderen to BMC. Alex Rasmussen to Garmin-Cervelo. Michael Albasini, Matthew Goss, and Leigh Howard to GreenEDGE. Lars Bak to Lotto-Ridley. Peter Velits, Martin Velits, Tony Martin, Matthew Brammeier, and Bert Grabsch to Omega Pharma-Quickstep. Mark Renshaw to Rabobank. Patrick Gretsch to Project 1t4i. Hayden Roulston to Radioshack-Nissan-Trek. 

I will miss cheering for team HTC Highroad, they were definitely one of my favorite teams. I even hung in there as a fan through their six-pack cycling jersey phase. Farewell to a great team. It is time to share pictures taken by PedalDancer.com of team HTC Highroad through the years, 2008-2011. It has been a pleasure to watch them race all over the world.

An HTC Highroad team photo album by a fan: All Photos © by PedalDancer.com or SyS

Team Columbia-Highroad in 2008
George Hincapie at the 2008 Dauphine Libere
© by PedalDancer.com
Mark Cavendish at the 2008 Dauphine Libere
© by PedalDancer.com
Adam Hansen at the 2008 Tour de France on Col d'Aspin
© by PedalDancer.com
Team Columbia-Highroad in 2009
Mark Cavendish at the 2009 Tour of California in Paso Robles
© by PedalDancer.com
 Michael Rogers 2009 Tour of California ITT in Solvang
© by PedalDancer.com
Bill Stapleton and George Hincapie, 2009 Tour of California
© by PedalDancer.com
George Hincapie 2009 Tour of California, Solvang
© by PedalDancer.com
Mark Cavendish and Mark Renshaw 2009 Tour of California
© by PedalDancer.com
A team name change in 2010 to HTC Highroad
Mark Cavendish 2010 Tour of California in Palmdale
© by PedalDancer.com
Tony Martin 2010 Tour of California in Palmdale
© by PedalDancer.com
Bert Grabsch in 2010 Tour of California
© by PedalDancer.com
Mark Cavendish ATOC, Los Angeles 2010
Tejay Van Garderen 2010 ATOC, Westlake Village
© by PedalDancer.com
Michael Rogers celebrating ATOC yellow jersey winner in 2010
© by PedalDancer.com

Kanstantsin Siutsou at the 2010 Tour de France in Sallies de Bearn
© by PedalDancer.com
the blur of the HTC Highroad team on Champs Elysees in Paris 2010
© by PedalDancer.com
team and staff cruising the boulevard after the TdF 2010 in Paris
© by PedalDancer.com
The HTC Highroad team in 2011
Bernie Eisel (front left) in San Jose 2011
© by PedalDancer.com
Tejay Van Garderen wearing the white jersey at the 2011 ATOC.
© by PedalDancer.com
Matt Goss in Paso Robles, CA, 2011
© by PedalDancer.com
Bernie Eisel awaits the Solvang ITT 2011
© by PedalDancer.com
Peter Velits warming up for the Solvang ITT 2011
© by PedalDancer.com
Tejay Van Garderen on the podium with Zabriskie and  Levi in Solvang
© by PedalDancer.com
Bernie relaxing barefoot in Solvang pre race
© by PedalDancer.com
Leigh Howard in Claremont, California
© by PedalDancer.com
Tejay Van Garderen signing autographs for fans in 2011
© by PedalDancer.com
 Bernie Eisel in Claremont, CA at the Amgen Tour of California
© by PedalDancer.com
Bernie Eisel, Matt Goss, and staff in Claremont before the race
© by PedalDancer.com
Tejay giving an interview in Santa Clarita wearing the ATOC White Jersey
© by PedalDancer.com
Tony Martin and the HTC team and staff at Criterium du Dauphine 2011
© by PedalDancer.com
Lachlan Norris at Garden of the Gods, Colorado 2011
© by PedalDancer.com
© by PedalDancer.com
Peter Velits at ITT in Garden of the Gods, USPCC 2011
© by PedalDancer.com
Danny Pates waits for ITT at the USPCC in Colorado 2011
© by PedalDancer.com
Tejay waits for the ITT in Colorado at the USA Pro Cycling Challenge
© by PedalDancer.com
Patrick Gretsch in the yellow jersey at the USA Pro Cycling Challenge 2011
© by PedalDancer.com
Tejay Van Garderen in the best young riders jersey at the USPCC
© by PedalDancer.com
Frantisek Rabon on Vail Pass ITT 2011
© by PedalDancer.com
Lachlan Norris on Vail Pass ITT 2011
© by PedalDancer.com
Hayden Roulston and HTC staff members in Avon, Colorado 2011
© by PedalDancer.com
Craig Lewis signs autographs for fans in Steamboat Springs, CO, 2011
© by PedalDancer.com
What about all that team equipment?
Anyone looking for a new bike or vehicle? These might be on the market ....
HTC Highroad bus, 2010 in the USA
© by PedalDancer.com
HTC Highroad team bus in France 2011
© by PedalDancer.com
Team car with rack and bikes in California 2011
© by PedalDancer.com
Mark Cavendish's old Scott bike at the 2010 Tour de France
© by PedalDancer.com
Matt Goss's Specialized Venge 2011
© by PedalDancer.com
Bernhard Eisel and his Shiv TT (I think only the bike is for sale, shucks)
© by PedalDancer.com
pick up your Specialized Shiv TT today
© by PedalDancer.com
or a number of Specialized SL4s and a S-Works Venge
© by PedalDancer.com
Tejay's bike, a mechanics truck, and maybe even the mechanic
© by PedalDancer.com
What do they do with the old team bikes and teams cars once a team folds? I' ve seen the old frames pop up in the oddest places, but those cars - I want a car!

Recommended Reading: Inside Cycling with John Wilcockson: The legacy of Team Highroad by John Wilcockson

Related reading: HTC High Road, the team to launch Mark Cavendish, sign off in style at Chrono des Nations by Brendan Gallagher at The Telegraph. And Stapleton hails winning performance in final races for HTC Highroad by VeloNation. A team video from 2011 worth watching: Talk about personality HTC-High Road Men's Team Bio.

Thanks to a great team from a grateful fan.