Bianchi announced yesterday that it will supply bicycles to Italian team Ceramica Flaminia for the next two seasons. The Italian company continues its sponsorship at the professional continental level after two years with Barloworld.
"It provides Bianchi with a direct connection to our Italian heritage and builds recognition of our brand outside of Italy," said Bob Ippolito, Bianchi's Managing Director.
Bianchi has a long history in cycling. Felice Gimondi, Magnus Backstedt, Andrea Tafi, Marco Pantani, Gianni Bugno, Moreno Argentin have all raced in Bianchi-sponsored teams. Over the past two seasons it has sponsored Barloworld, including riders Robert Hunter, Steve Cummings and Chris Froome.
The 17-man Ceramica team's best-known rider for 2010 is Riccardo Riccò, who is serving a suspension for doping that ends March 18. He won two stages and finished second overall at the Giro d'Italia in 2008.
Ceramica will race in the professional continental division, or one division lower than the ProTour level, and has to earn an invitation to the 2010 Giro d'Italia.
"Team Flaminia, together with the arrival of Riccardo Riccò in March, will compete at a very high level and we have very high expectations of the feedback they can offer to Bianchi in terms of product design. The Bianchi factory is now in the process to preparing our new and improved 928 SL bike for the team," said Lars Svalin, Bianchi Product Department Manager.
Ceramica Flaminia's 2010 roster is: Alessandro Maserati, Andrea Noè, Cristiano Fumagalli, Daniele Colli, Donato Cannone, Edoardo Girardi, Enrico Rossi, Fabrizio Lucciola, Filippo Baggio, Giampaolo Caruso, Leonardo Giordani, Luca Celli, Massimiliano Gentili, Paolo Bailetti, Raivis Belohvosciks, Riccardo Riccò and Santo Anzà.
Bianchi is one of four famous Italian companies supplying bikes to teams in 2010. Pinarello will supply British team Sky, while Colnago and De Rosa will both sponsor and supply bikes to Italian professional continental teams (Colnago-CSF and De Rosa-Stac Plastic).
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