Trek Factory Racing has brought onboard Italian coffee company Segafredo as a co-sponsor from the 2016 season according to a report in La Gazzetta dello Sport. The team has also confirmed it has partnered with Mapei Sport who return to the top ranks of professional cycling for the first time since ending its association with the now Etixx-QuickStep team 14 years ago.
Segafredo is new to cycling sponsorship but is not the first coffee company to delve into the sport which has also see the likes of the Faema team with Eddy Merckx, the Cafe de Colombia team in the 1980s, Wega with Mercatone UNO, and the Saeco team of Mario Cipollini and Damiano Cunego. Caffita was also a co-sponsor of the Lampre team in the 2000s.
The American team will have a distinctly Italian feel from 2016 to further add to suggestions that Vincenzo Nibali (Astana), a winner of all three grand tours, could join the team from 2017. Team manager Luca Guercilena told Cyclingnews last month that he would be interested in signing the current Italian national champion. Eugenio Alafaci, Niccolo Bonifazio, Marco Coledan, Fabio Felline and Giacomo Nizzolo are the Italian contingent for 2016.
Guercilena, along with Fabian Cancellara, was part of the Mapei team from 1997 and is excited to reunite with the Milan sport centre from next season.
"I'm very happy with this partnership. Mapei Sport is one of the best sports science centers in the world, so this is a great opportunity for everyone involved. They are a leader in research, just like Trek, and research is the way to go," Guercilena said. "I'm a strong believer in improvement and I know Mapei Sport likes to look at the future and study how things can be done better. I'm convinced that our philosophies will match."
Mapei sport head of cycling and head coach Andrea Morelli explained what the partnership will entail.
"It's a great pleasure for me to work again with Luca Guercilena and the Trek Factory Racing Team," Morelli said. "In the first place, the team riders will have access to our facility to monitor their physiological parameters but we will give also our scientific support to help the team to improve the training plan and recovery strategy. We will provide performance testing opportunities throughout the season, and assist the team's performance staff, notably Josu Larrazabal (Head of Performance) and Daniel Green (team sports scientist), to enhance the performance of each rider."
Josu Larrazabal, the team's head of performance, added that he expects the partnership with Mapei will see them reach new heights.
"Having Mapei Sport partner with us was the missing piece to having a fully operational performance task force. We now have a solid structure to support the riders to reach their maximum performance," Larrazabal said.