Australia's new ProTeam bid, GreenEDGE has announced a multiple-year contract with bicycle and accessories company Scott Sports.
Under the agreement, Scott Sports, whose bikes were ridden to six stage victories by the HTC-Columbia squad at the 2010 Tour de France, become the official bike supplier to all teams under the GreenEDGE banner; men's elite ProTeam squad, women's pro team and men's Continental road racing team. Helmets will also be supplied by Scott Sports for both pro teams.
"The main priority in striking a deal with a bike manufacturer was to ensure the team was getting the best equipment that would give the riders an edge on their competitors," said GreenEDGE General Manager, Shayne Bannan.
"Some of the stages in a race like the Tour de France can last up to seven hours and every little bit of energy that can be saved by having the best equipment can make the difference between first and second place".
Bannan arrived in Italy late last week to continue his discussions with the UCI with the aim of GreenEDGE gaining a ProTeam licence for the 2012 season.
"It's all tracking pretty well," Bannan told Cyclingnews from Rome. "We set ourselves various targets earlier this year. One's to concentrate on the structure of the team, where the operations base will be, where the admin base will be. That's coming along pretty well and right through this period we're in discussions with the UCI to make sure we're in accordance with the application process and so on."
The team is hoping to name first or second name sponsors in June.
Scott Sports Vice President Pascal Ducrot was quick to praise Bannan and his project.
"Shayne Bannan has a long and very successful history in cycling as the Australian national team coach. His knowledge, paired with a solid financial foundation, will allow them to build a very dynamic and successful team and Shayne's vision of pushing technology as well as his demand for the best high-tech equipment is the challenge we need in order to keep our leading position."
Scott will arm GreenEDGE athletes with its latest equipment; the finished product of an ongoing Project called F01 which was unveiled at the Tour de France in 2010.
"The level of research and development done by a bike manufacturer is important to stay ahead of the game and Scott has shown they do this better than anyone else," continued Bannan.
"Most bike manufactures do wind tunnel testing on their time trial bikes, where aerodynamics is critical, but to maximise its efficiency and create a new generation of aero road racing bikes in the lead up to last year's Tour de France Scott conducted extensive testing within the Drag2Zero facilities in Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix wind tunnel.
"To have this sort of commitment to being the best from our partners is invaluable in our pursuit of gaining an edge on our rivals."
For Ducrot being able to work closely with the team was also an important factor.
"The fact that the GreenEDGE team base in Italy is close to the Scott headquarters will allow a very close collaboration with riders and team management in order to design and build the best performing equipment and to push the already very high standard of our products even further," Ducrot said.
GreenEdge will use the Scott Plasma 3 TT time trial bikes, Vanish road helmets and the new generation TT helmets.
Earlier this month, the European Training Centre (ETC) in Gavirate, northern Italy, was opened which GreenEDGE have joined in commercial partnership with Cycling Australia and the Australian Sports Commission of which to make use.
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