April 15 2004. Continental are getting very serious about the bike market. At the successful launch of their new Road Attack sport/touring range in Hanover, they let slip that they've pulled off something off a coup by recruiting top designer Thomas Zoeller from the Pirelli-Metzeler group.

Zoeller was the brains behind the Italian company's recent successes, like the Rennsport tyre and its predecessors. Apparently he was homesick in his Italian base - probably missed the rain of Hanover in all that sunshine - and wanted to join a German based maker.

With Continental making a big investment in the development of their first radial touring boot, a talent like that on offer was too good to miss. He'll be installed at their Hanover development base in May, and there's talk amongst the team of sports tyres to come. They're not admitting plans for a pure racing involvement at this early stage, but they agree it's a possibility.

Matt Leeman of UK Continental importers Cambrian Tyres was really on a high and quoted Tony Ensor, recently departed head of Pirelli Metzeler UK, as saying that to lose Zoeller would be a major loss.

Look out for some significant new ranges to come from the German company, or talk to Cambrian about the new Road Attack on 01970 611736