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Product development key to strong team relationship
After announcing the recent acquisition of Liquigas Sport by Brixia, the team known as Liquigas-Cannondale will become Cannondale Pro Cycling Team in 2013. It will be the first time Cannondale has title-sponsored a ProTeam and seemed a fitting next step for the brand that has enjoyed a strong relationship with the squad managed by Roberto Amadio.
"We are continuing our product development emphasis. We are true believers in developing products with world-class athletes. We have had a good relationship with the team management for six years. From technical partner to co-title sponsor, this is the next logical step," said Cannondale General Manager Bob Burbank.
The significant increase in investment comes off the back of another successful year for the team which has achieved 36 professional victories so far this season. A major highlight being Peter Sagan’s three stage wins on his way to capturing the green jersey at this the Tour de France while his teammate Vincenzo Nibali was a finished on the podium in third-place overall.
While Nibali will leave the team at the end of this season, the likes of Moreno Moser, Elia Viviani and the experienced Ivan Basso will continue to lead the team which is ranked in second place in the UCI’s team ranking. The team has already announced a number of new sigings for 2013 including the return of former Liquigas-Cannondale rider Cameron Wurf.
"We are incredibly pleased with Cannondale’s decision to continue and increase its partnership with the team," said Brixia Sport’s President Paolo Zani. "We share the same goal of furthering a sports project that has produced exciting results in recent years. We are convinced that the Cannondale Pro Cycling Team will be one of the most competitive teams in international cycling. Combining the Italian tradition of cycling with the naturally innovative spirit of a brand like Cannondale will initiate the genesis of an international team that will always be a main contender wherever it competes."
Rider feedback plays a critical role in the development of Cannondale’s latest products and the role of riders and engineers will remain as it has over the numerous seasons, placing the latest technologies under some of the world’s most talented riders.
"For 18 months, we had the Slice RS under a few key athletes in major races. For us, the only true proof is getting our bikes under the world's best riders in races. We could have kept it hidden during development, but that's not how we operate. Also, the off-season is a critical time for us in getting feedback from team riders," said Burbank.
"We have some formalized processes, but some of our engineers are friendly with athletes, and the feedback is as simple as talking during a ride together, or chatting over email. But it's not like the athletes come to us, it's typically us telling them what the next technology will be, and us getting their feedback," added team liason Rory Mason.