A new women’s cycling team, team Specialized-Menikini, has been formed in Quebec. Made up of the best up-and-coming Quebec athletes, this team have the unique position of being closely tied to a 'sister team' of UCI professionals, the Menikini team (formerly Nobili Rubinetterie Menikini Cogeas), based in Italy. The seasoned professionals from Europe will travel to Canada to compete with the new developmental team, and then eventually, the plan is for the Europeans to host their Québécoise sister squad for select races in Europe in order to ease the young riders into international racing.
Specialized-Menikini has a three year plan to develop their program, starting with a 'training school' to develop local talent and focus on North American races. The team will expand their racing to Europe in the second year, with the goal of establishing a full UCI team by year three.
Manager Walter Ricci Petitoni, who has been with the Menikini team since 2003, said “We are very pleased and enthusiastic about being involved in forming the new regional Specialized-Menikini team. As an international team, we want to share our experience in order to offer these emerging athletes an opportunity to become international champions.”