The Italian Cycling Federation (FCI) has agreed to a deal with component manufacturer Full Speed Ahead (FSA) that will see the company provide material support to the nation's track team until 2012.
The agreement with FSA marks a period of track cycling development undertaken by the FCI that will see new velodromes built in Turin and Treviso over the next four years. It also serves to reinforce the nation's commitment to track cycling at an World Championship and Olympic level.
"This agreement with FSA is very important for us," said Renato Di Rocco, President of Italian Cycling Federation. "The great professionalism and high tech products of the company will join forces with the Italian Track Teams in order to create a strong synergy.
"Although there was a change in Olympic track disciplines for London 2011, the message that we want to pass is that the track is not a rival of road races: race riders can obtain some advantages thanks to the flexibility of this activity."
Liquigas rider Ivan Basso was on hand for the signing of the agreement and echoed the sentiment of his national federation's president, specifically citing the value of the covered velodrome in Montichiari, northern Italy to his preparations for the road.
"I have been collaborating with FSA for some years now, and during the time this collaboration has become a close friendship. The agreement between FCI and an important company like Full Speed Ahead, with excellent products and a perfect technical assistance, will be a great success," Basso said.
"For me and other road riders, the opportunity to use a covered velodrome is really important: it allows the training during winter and the specific preparation for time trial races."
The two groups signed the agreement at FSA's European office, near Milan. Di Rocco joined FSA's General Manager Claudio Marra for a ceremony also attended by Basso, Felice Gimondi and Italian track coaches Andra Collinelli and Marco Villa.
"We are proud to be chosen by the FCI as official technical suppliers," said Marra. "With our products we want to contribute to the Italian teams and reach greater successes."