By Nigel Wynn
Cannondale will be the title sponsor of the current Liquigas-Cannondale team for the 2013 season after a change in ownership - the squad will be known as the Cannondale Pro Cycling Team from January 1, 2013.
Liquigas will cease sponsoring the Italian WorldTour-level squad at the end of 2012 at which point Brixia Sport will take over the running of the squad that includes Peter Sagan and Ivan Basso.
The American bicycle brand's relationship with the Italian team started in 2007, when it became bike and equipment provider. The relationship stepped up a notch for 2010, when the brand became co-title sponsor with Liquigas.
"For the past six years, it has been a thrill to watch the team push their limits on our bikes as we push the boundaries on what those bikes can do," said Bob Burbank, general manager of Cannondale.
"With the title sponsorship, our dealers and consumers can expect to see us really challenge the status quo and develop programmes and opportunities that demonstrate our continued commitment to professional cycling in new and exciting ways that will be undeniably Cannondale."
Brixia Sport is owned by former Liquigas head Paolo Zani, a wealthy businessman with a long-standing interest in cycling. It is thought that Cannondale may take a 40 per cent share in Brixia Sport, with Zani making up the other 60 per cent.
"We are incredibly pleased with Cannondale's decision to continue and increase its partnership with the team," said 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."
The team will race the 2013 season without 2010 Vuelta winner and Tour de France hopeful Vincenzo Nibali, who moves on to the Astana squad on a two-year deal.
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